Thursday, December 31, 2009


Feel very apprehensive about what 2010 may have in store for us.
Stephen is not at all well tonight and has slept for most of the afternoon and evening. Is in bed with rigors and heavy sweating.
I shall contact the nurse first thing tomorrow morning.

We are very fortunate to have the support of the Outreach team at our local Hospice - Cancercare - District Nurses - a wonderful Oncologist and a great Pain Management Team at the Infirmary - plus our local GP and surgery nurse. These fantastic people are helping to prolong Stephen's life and keep him as comfortable as is humanly possible.
I am so grateful for their help and encouragement at this very difficult time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Latest picture of Stephen . .

Stephen face is puffed with use of steroids and beginning to take on a yellow tinge. Not good. We visit the Hospice tomorrow morning and district nurse is calling to see him at home in the afternoon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A 'downsy' couple of days . . .

I spoke too soon on Saturday.
Stephen was fine until tea-time when he suddenly went into a decline - and spent the whole of Sunday in bed. He got up this morning but has been poorly all day and sat huddled in front of the fire this afternoon and evening. Doesn't want to eat - feels ill -has difficulty going to the lavatory - his abdomen is swollen and hard but won't allow me to call the doctor or take him to the hospital or hospice. Gets very angry when I mention it. He saw the oncologist on Friday and is waiting for the results of a blood test and an appointment for yet another MRI scan and a report from the bowel surgeon in Manchester. He may need an op.

I talked to the District Nurse this afternoon and she made some suggestions and is calling to see Stephen on Wednesday afternoon to see how he is faring.

Outsiders remark how well he looks - considering what he's got - and of course he puts on a brave face. Inside the house it's a completely different matter.

It is very distressing.

I had to go to the hospital this morning for a barium meal. Much better and far less traumatic than having an endoscopy I can tell you.

Between us, Stephen and me are a right old pair of crocks. Almost ready for the knackers yard methinks!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Have not posted any details about Stephen for a while as things were very dicey at times, but for those of you who are interested and have been following his progress, I will now bring you up to date.

Prof B at the Hospice arranged for him to see the Pain Management team at a local hospital where Stephen underwent a spinal block in an attempt to stop the excruciating pain.
I'm glad to report that it worked - and Stephen is now free from pain. He still has 'upsy downsy' days when he seems 'reasonably' fine one day but confined to his bed on other days with exhaustion, no appetite, and deep sweats.

His appetite is poor, as I mentioned, so I try to coax him to eat - serving tiny portions of very tasty food as his taste buds have changed - probably affected by the increased doses of morphine. High energy drinks have been prescribed which 'taste awful' says Stephen - but mixed with lemonade are 'just about palatable.' However, these drinks keep him going during the non-eating days.

He takes steroids (magic pills) when he is at a very low ebb as they give him energy, decrease the sweats, and increase his appetite, but have to be taken with discretion.
The downside is they make him very argumentative!!!

Stephen's hair is returning since the chemo (which didn't work)and he feels 'fairly human' once more, but is losing weight at a rate of knots (now weighs less than me) which is to be expected given his decreased appetite.

Stephen knows he is on 'the slippy slope' but is making the best of the good days, of which today is one. It's a lovely day. The sun is shining. He feels 'good' he says and fancies scrambled eggs!

So we are - as they say - 'making hay whilst the sun shineth . . . . .'

Friday, December 18, 2009


Many thanks to everyone for your cards and kind good wishes . . .
We are making the best of things - a very very quiet Christmas at home. No turkey - no visitors - no travel.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On a happier note . . . preparations for an Oz christmas . . .

My two Australian great grand-daughters, Lily and young Madeleine, decorate the Christmas tree . . . in Aroona - on the sunshine coast - Queensland.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS? Not for this poor 18 year old lad. Tony Blair and all those MP's who voted for WAR should hang their heads in shame!

No legs - one arm with fingers missing - nose and lips blown off!
Stephen and I are dreadfully disturbed by this image and, as Stephen says, we think WE have troubles!
See side bar - where you can HELP these poor lads.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The wonderful ladies from St Thomas's Church . . . congratulations!

Eighteen wonderful ladies raised £8,000 ($13,000+) for The Christie Hospital, which specializes in cancer treatments and is known worldwide.

Hilary and the girls (plus one man) made The Singing Garden Quilt - from a BOM created by me and published by Popular Patchwork magazine earlier this year. The group are to be congratulated for a superb effort!

I was invited to draw the winning ticket at their Quilt Show on Saturday but was unable to do so due to the dreaded Swine Flu plus looking after Stephen who is very ill.
It is an understatement to say how disappointed I was at not being able to attend the ceremony - and missed a lovely lunch to boot.

Luckily, Katy - web editor from - rose to the occasion and did the honours in my place. I understand a piece of the special Singing Garden Cake (see above) is winging it's way to me by Royal Mail. It's a super cake isn't it - and what a good idea!

The magazine will be featuring pictures of Singing Garden Quilts made by subscribers - in next month's edition.

St Thomas' Church Quilt Group.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Stephen and Patsy Thompson's Vol 3 feathers DVD to cheer us up..

Stephen is not well and we have been to and from the Hospice and the hospital these past few weeks. He is receiving therapies which help him somewhat - but the pain in his back is becoming unbearable. Drugs have been increased but the morphine doesn't seem to touch the pain - just makes him dopey. He has been referred to a Pain Management consultant at the hospital and is to have a spinal block - i.e. injection into his spine - next Friday - in a desperate attempt to give him some respite. This will require anaesthetic and overnight stay in hospital.

The nights are bad and I feel helpless not knowing what to do. At the end of the day - in spite of help from the Hospice, local hospital and Macmillan/District nurses - it's still a case of dealing with things yourselves.

On a happier note - we have been watching Patsy Thompson's latest DVD (3rd) on Feathers. Click on sidebar - Blog List or Interesting Websites - to access her site. ( A treat in store!

Not only does Patsy have a lovely face and reassuring voice - which Stephen finds restful and appealing, but her skill at free motion quilting is a triumph.
I defy anyone not to be able to stitch feathers when they have seen Patsy in action.
She is much copied by many professionals.

Patsy helps at a Hospice in the USA which makes her presence in our sitting room doubly welcome at this sad time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Hospice . . .

After two very painful days and nights, Stephen agreed that outside help is needed and finally decided that the local Hospice is the answer at this stage of his illness - now that all treatment has ceased - and not the hospital with admittance to an understaffed geriatric ward - the main point of a hospice being pain relief and palliative care - with emphasis on 'care.'
After talking to the District Nurse, and making a few phone calls, it was arranged for Stephen and myself to see the Professor in charge of the hospice early this morning.

Professor B took detailed notes, gave Stephen a physical examination - asked oncologist at hospital for copies of Stephen's medical records, including results of latest CT / MRI scans, and arranged to see him again in 2 weeks. He doubled the drugs - arranged for a Macmillan nurse to call in 3 days to see if the increased drugs have deadened the pain as opposed to merely making him drowsy - and is considering a spinal block - done under anaesthetic - if the new drug regime does not work.

We both felt a great sense of relief and Stephen feels he is in good hands - with people who care and know what they're doing - and understand his anxieties.

The hospice is situated on the outskirts of town in lovely surroundings - trees and flowers abound everywhere. There is a sense of calm within the building and they have some very pretty curtaining in the lounge areas, which would make a jolly nice quilt. Talking of which, I may use one of my Singing Garden quilts as a raffle prize with proceeds to the hospice as a thankyou for the help they are giving Stephen and myself. Will give me an incentive to get it layered and quilted.
Oh dear . . .

We have another appointment at the hospice tomorrow morning - with the complementary therapy team - to see if massage and reflexology will benefit Stephen and help him to relax.
They also provide residential and day care which provides respite for both patient and carer.

I feel a load has been lifted from my shoulders - by the sheer fact I will receive support in helping Stephen to deal with this dreadful disease - and that he can now enjoy what is left of his life without the excruciating pain that has devastated him these past weeks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ghastly night . . .

Yesterday and last night was one of the worst yet. Stephen was in severe pain in his back for most of the day - not even the morphine could touch it.

Took to his bed in late afternoon - by evening was in a dreadful state - but of course, being a weekend, nobody was available - it's all ansaphones.

A lesson to be learned here - don't fall ill over a weekend!

I massaged his back with Ibuprofen Gel which does give him a bit of relief - and he took slow-release morphine plus a good dose of liquid morphine to alleviate the pain. I plumped him up with feather cushions and a V shaped cushion in an attempt to get him into a comfortable position as he felt worse lying flat. Ran up and downstairs for remainder of evening until I fell into bed at midnight. Got up through the night to keep an eye on him. Exhausted.

However, Stephen feels much better this morning. Insisted on getting up and dressed for breakfast - but is staggering a bit and holding on to bannisters and furniture.
We'll have to see what the day brings.

Have postponed my endoscopy for the present time as I seem able to control the symptoms with diet and yoga breathing plus am convinced the acid reflux is triggered by anxiety and stress. I talked to a nurse in the endoscopy department yesterday who agreed that now is not the time to put myself under extra stress, but can have one if symptoms don't improve.
So that's a relief.

Julie - many thanks for your email. Have noted your endoscopy experiences - with and without sedation. Yes, will take your advice and go down the sedation road. Thankyou for that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oncologist's report . .

Stephen had a bad night. I gently massaged his back and legs with Ibuprofen Gel for half an hour in a desperate attempt to relieve the pain. He had a dose of morphine and then, thankfully, fell asleep.

It was with some trepidation that we drove to the hospital this morning to receive the results of his latest CT scan taken 10 days ago. I was particularly nervous as I thought his skin had taken on a yellow tinge earlier in the week.
Our fears were justified as we were told the tumours in his liver had grown considerably in spite of chemo. He is due to have a last bout of chemo next Tuesday but this has now been cancelled.
Was told that we can survive on a very small part of our liver (if that makes sense) - which was encouraging. It's now a waiting game.

We go to the Hospice next Wednesday for complementary therapy which I hope will help to control Stephen's pain.

Meanwhile I received a letter from the hospital telling me all about the endoscopy which I am to have (endure) next Saturday - 26th. After reading the small print - am of a mind to forego the experience. A bag of nerves as it is and, having had an xray which should reveal any abnormalities, can't see the need for invasive action which could affect me for a while.

Have put myself on a strict regime of eating small meals - slowly. Sitting up straight whilst eating. Walking about for 20 minutes after every meal.
Following a diet of no alcohol/coffee - no dairy foods (fats) - no chocolate - and sticking to fruit such as bananas and apples (no citrus fruits/juices). Can eat goat's cheese and goat's butter (very nice) and Feta cheese.
Bought soya milk today - and will give it a whirl.

Also - and think this is The Cure - sipping warm drinks of "Slippery Elm" plus honey three times a day. De-lish!

Hmmm . . . . .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shining Lights amid the gloom . . . European Gold Medallists . . .

Things not too good . . .

This photo was taken over a month ago - when Stephen was beginning to lose his hair and beard - resembled a pirate! Looked good, and seemed to be coping really well after first session of latest chemo, but is sadly now unrecognisable.

His appearance changed dramatically 2 weeks ago and things have not been easy with most of my time taken up trying to keep him comfortable and as happy as is humanly possible, given the circumstances.
He is now having difficulty in climbing the stairs and walking has become a problem. Stephen has reacted very badly to this last two sessions of chemo (has final (4th) session next week) - which seems to have weakened him and he looks yellow this morning. His hair and beard have gone walk about and his face is badly swollen with steroids. Would be unfair to post a picture of him in his present unrecognisable state.
Slow-release morphine has been prescribed during the day and a separate dose of morphine is given at night to help Stephen sleep.

Rang the Hospice this morning and asked for help with therapies to make him feel better and help him relax - reflexology and massage for example - plus some restorative yoga for myself.
Saw Upper GI consultant yesterday - had xray and am to have an endoscopy on Saturday 26th September (which I understand is akin to having a hosepipe thrust down your throat.)
A weekend experience I could do without.

On a lighter note - my grand-daughter Polly, and her (coxless pair) team-mate Jen won gold medals at the European Championships in Poland 2 weeks ago. Will post a pic of them, later.
Polly is the blonde - 6'1" - and Jen, (ex Cambridge Blue - now studying medicine at Edinburgh with Polly) is a magnificent 6' 3"! The girls look marvellous together - like tall beautiful trees.
I am so proud and their success brought a badly needed bit of sunshine into our lives . .

Many many congratulations to Angela whose work is being showcased in the October and future issues of Popular Patchwork. Well done! I told you so . . . . . and there'll be lots more . . . .

I'm very sorry and extremely disappointed that the publication of my 2010 BOM Beginners Heirloom Sampler for the magazine has had to be postponed indefinitely but, as I'm sure you can appreciate, present circumstances make it impossible to give time to anything other than Stephen's needs for the foreseeable future.
Maybe later . . . . .
You can see the results of this year's GPQ samplers at (click on sidebar) and then click on Babs Sampler Beauties!!

Patsy Thompson has a new DVD out. Feathers - version 3. I've ordered one. Might not have time to sew but I can sit with Stephen, relax, and enjoy Patsy's latest work. Her on-line 'free machine' tuition is second to none and to be highly recommended. I've learned a tremendous amount from her. Click on the side panel which will take you directly her website (

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swollen feet and legs . . .

Stephen is having his second session of chemo later this morning, but his feet and legs have started to swell over the past couple of days so we have made an appointment to see the GP before we set off for the oncology department at the hospital.
I looked up the symptoms on the internet and it appears the swelling may be related to his liver problems. The increased morphine and steroid intake this past week may also be responsible.

I too am seeing the GP. Have developed a very sore throat/trachea over the past 3 weeks, which may or may not be due to stress - but it needs seeing to as I am finding it very painful to speak.

We are fast becoming a pair of old crocks!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

News . . .

Saw the oncologist this morning after spending 3 very troublesome weeks during which time Stephen has suffered severe pain, sleepless nights, and been anxiously awaiting results of MRI and CT scans taken 10 days ago.

Good news is that the pain in his back is not due to cancer but old damage to his spine - and they might be able to operate to relieve some of the pressure and pain.

Good news too re lymphomas in his stomach which have shrunk since his last bout of chemo.

The bad news is that tumours in both bowel and liver have grown by 2cms since end of April.

Stephen is beginning to lose his hair - coming out in handfuls, so I bought him a black bandana online, which actually suits him (and his pirate personality).

So we plod on. . . . Stephen has now been prescribed slow-release morphine and steroids each day - with extra morphine to take at night should the pain increase. This should ensure a pain-free day but there is a down-side we're told, as steroids can sometimes alter behaviour with patients becoming irritable and aggressive in some cases. I hope this will not be the scenario with Stephen as life is difficult enough as it is.

Patchwork and quilting have had to take a back seat. Reluctantly cancelled trips to Birmingham and Harrogate Shows and not running any P & Q workshops in the foreseeable future.
Life is on hold - with all my attention given to securing Stephen's comfort.

All the money in the world cannot change this situation, so I'm not buying any more lottery tickets!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Devastating news . . .

A scan on Friday has revealed enlargement of the tumours in Stephen's liver. This is devastating news as he seemed to be doing so well on the steroids.
He has, however, developed excruciating pain in his back which the oncologist fears may be related to his condition and has arranged a bone scan.
Stephen has been in terrible pain these past 2 weeks which only morphine seems to deaden. Last night he had to resort to a double dose before he could manage to sleep. Before that we were up half the night. The morphine is still in his system so he feels a bit better this morning.

Whilst most are of the opinion that Stephen should now leave well enough alone and continue with palliative care - he has insisted on further treatment with chemo starting next Tuesday.
This particular chemo is aggressive with side effects of hair loss, diarrhoea, life threatening infection, and death - according to the doctor's written comments on the certificate Stephen has had to sign.
"I am not going to just sit and wait to die," he said. "I'm going to take a chance on the chemo extending my life."
I am worried stiff, and wonder what choice I would make given the same situation.
What would you do?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Surrounded by artists . . etc.,

Am surrounded by artists. Stephen (who used to teach art) and brother David who has recently taken up oil painting as a retirement hobby (and showing talent), plus brother-in-law Bob who is a professional artist! My sister is a brilliant couturier knitter - using fabulous designs and colours.
It's humbling - tho' I guess some quiltmakers are artistic. Ahem!

From whom my grandchildren inherited a sports tendency is a mystery - a throwback perhaps - as my parents and brother loathed all forms of sport and I'm not into it, having had rheumatic fever in my teens which knackered me as far as sport was concerned - tho' I was previously successful in long jump - flat racing and javelin throwing before RH struck.

It's funny how the old gene pool works isn't it?

Most of the family are musical or artistic - my daughters being excellent singers, yet my son and the grandchildren are mostly into sports.
The boys into rugby, skiing, sailing and girls into sailing and rowing. A good way of keeping them on the straight and narrow I guess, especially testosterone-fuelled teenagers!

Getting better - David's latest. . . National Gallery next . . .

Friday, July 10, 2009

VASHON ISLAND, Washington State, USA

Have just noticed a visitor from Vashon Island. I have relatives on Vashon living on 98th Street South - near the Fauntleroy ferry. Met some talented ladies who belonged to a quilting group on Vashon some years ago. They were the friendliest folk - and made some spectacular quilts.
It's a wonderful place to live and my regret is that I didn't stay there.

Full of blossom - and not a bee in sight this year. Where have they gone? Worrying!

Garden is full of lilies this year.

Just 2 Cornettos . . .

Received a lovely surprise today when my son, daughter-in-law, and grand-daughter arrived unexpectedly from the Highlands of Scotland to see how we are coping. Don't get to see them as often nowadays as it is too far for Stephen to travel, so the visit was doubly welcome.
Megan is absolutely thrilled to be chosen as Head Girl this year. She's lovely - is a proficient sailor - and hopes to receive her trainers certificate this week so she can teach sailing, alongside her brother Sam, on Loch Morlich near their home. I am thrilled about my grandchildren - all 10 of them - and I must congratulate my three children and their spouses for being such super and sensible parents who support and encourage their children to the nth degree.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July in Bloom . . . catching up . . .

Edinburgh Uni students - not all study & rowing! Polly in pink with boyfriend Ed.

Wish I had my time over again - lucky young things. Don't they look great! All their lives in front of them. Wonderful!!

Proud grandmother - Polly & Jen - Scottish rowing champions - coxless pairs..

Polly/ Jen (6' 1" and 6' 3" respectively) at Henley Royal Regatta.

Catching up . . .

Got a lot of catching up to do . . . after a stressful couple of weeks . . . . tho' I'm glad to say that Stephen is now coping very well on steroids (magic pills) and even went fishing for a few hours with my brother David yesterday. David has taken up a new hobby - painting - and this is his first attempt, using oils. Move over Rembrandt is all I can say!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MP's Expenses - Making a Mockery . . . .

Did you read Saturday's Daily Telegraph to check your MP's expenses? I did, though Telegraph is not my usual paper. You may be in for a surprise. Under the heading "Making a mockery - The rest of the Mockers" our 2 local MP's were among the highest claimants in the country.

Geraldine Smith, for example, was 37th out of 645 MP's in claiming a total of £166,097 expenses in 2007/8 and claimed the maximum £400 most months for food, whilst Ben Wallace was top claimant out of all MP's for Additional Costs Allowance but no claim for his food.

These figures do not include generous salaries of £64,766 per annum.
For a 12 month period in 2007/8 Geraldine Smith was in receipt of a hefty £230,863 whilst Ben Wallace received £239,789. Not bad, eh?
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Check your own MP's expenses on side bar ( Happy viewing!!

This is the culprit wot started it all . . .

Offers for 1990 Angel Food Cake Mix? Genuine antique!

Cordial clearing nicely . . . see bottom picture . . .

Delicious Gooseberry and Elderflower Fool.

Better get picking - Elderflowers will have vanished by end of next week!

Recipe from Riverford Farm Cookbook by Watson & Baxter.

Put the following into a saucepan:
300g gooseberries
1 good tablespoon Elderflower cordial
knob of butter
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Cook over a low heat until gooseberries soften. Cool.
Mash gooseberries - add more sugar if necessary.

Fold 250ml whipped cream into the mixture.
Serve chilled.

English Garden Cocktail using Elderflower cordial.

Serves 6:

300 ml gin (or vodka)
900 ml apple juice
50 ml elderflower cordial
2 limes

Pour all ingredients into a large jug - stir well.
Squeeze limes into the cocktail. Keep chilled.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Can you beat a 20 year old cake mix?

During my clutter clear out - starting with kitchen - discovered - tucked away at the back of a deep cupboard - a 20 year old American Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake mix. It mentions a cake competition on the back of the pack - entry date September 1990. Think I might enter. Am contacting General Mills in Minneapolis to see if they will accept a late entry. Will make the cake and keep you posted! Wonder if Antiques Roadshow would be interested?

Pantry has been whitewashed and new shelves erected for my home-made jams, jellies and marmalades. The bottles of Elderflower Cordial look really good - less like hospital specimens - and have settled down - looking clearer as each day passes. Will post a picture later this week - test a bottle in 2/3 weeks time.
Found an interesting new recipe amongst my ancient cookery books for use of Elderflower cordial - Summer Cocktail for those with alcoholic tendencies. Will post it tomorrow.

Cut out the appliqués for the Winter SG quilt this evening and hope to apply them by weekend. I'm glad to say the editor of Popular Patchwork has extended the deadline and given us to the end of July to send pictures of our SG quilts to the magazine.

Will be interesting from my point of view to see the changes made to the original design by various quilters. Exciting.

HA = Hoarders Anonymous! R U a member?

Up to now have made every excuse under the sun not to start de-cluttering the house, but I start today!

Please tell me the name of a quilter who is not a hoarder - without half a dozen UFO's - a fabric stash - snippets of this and that - books galore - needles of all descriptions , including old sewing machine needles (kept - just in case - for paper piecing) -plus 300+ spools of thread that will never be used in a lifetime and finished quilts that will never see the light of day 'cos they don't go with the curtains!

I am not she. R U?

Henley Womens Regatta . . . .

Pics of Polly - all 6ft 1" of her.
Polly and Jen won their first 3 'elite coxless pair' heats this afternoon, but were finally beaten to first place by the prestigious Leander team, who won by half a length. Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent are members and have raced for the Leander Club in the past, so the girls did very well. Next stop the September European Championships in Poland!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's that time of year again! Yummy Elderflower Cordial. Ready to drink in 2 weeks!

Made a batch of Elderflower cordial - as is my wont at this time of year when the flowers are at their best.
Recipe can be found on an earlier posting . . . .see June 2008 (Famous Olde Country Recipe).

Yes, I agree - finished product is a trifle cloudier this year and does resemble something you take to a clinic . . . . . . however, will label bottles to avoid confusion.

I assure you it makes the most delicious drink. Mix the cordial with ice, chilled sparkling water and a slice of lemon in a tall glass. Can't beat it. Unless, of course, you make a cocktail adding lots of gin or/+ vodka and a slice of lemon!!! Yum yum!!

Hmm . . . .Think I'll treat myself . . . . I deserve it . . . .

Friday, June 19, 2009

Scottish Rowing Championships ~ Strathclyde - June '09

My grand-daughter Polly (in pink) rows for Edinburgh University and she and her rowing partner Jen (ex Cambridge Blue) - now at Edinburgh Univ - won Gold Medals for the Coxless Pairs Race making them the Scottish Champions. They have been rowing together for some time now and are well matched. Polly is 6ft 1" and Jen is 6ft 3" - both have longest legs in the world.
Here they are - in their T shirts - about to set off to the starting post getting last minute instructions from their trainer George Warnock who told them to get cracking as a storm was brewing. They were the last to race. George coaches some of the big names in rowing. One tough cookie!!
Was about to photograph them at the end (in black racing gear) receiving their gold medals when my camera battery ran out - typical!

The championships were well attended - large crowds - lots of boats. The weather was brilliant for most of the day until black clouds arrived from nowhere at 4 o clock and it started to rain. Folks dashed into the tea tents and under cover which is why the lake looks deserted.
A storm broke on the way home. Scary.

The girls are racing at Henley Womens Regatta on Sunday 21st and been invited to participate in the European Universities Championships at Kruszvica in Poland on 2 - 5th September this year. Isn't life exciting for them! Hope they do well.


Returned from Edinburgh on Monday evening, after a much needed break from Florence Nightingale duties whilst Stephen's daughter stayed with him.

Driving home from shopping ( M & S in the Gyle) to where my daughter lives, stopping at a nearby house when she said "Guess who lives here?" Hmm . . . . not a clue? A clue. He's a great pal of Gordon Brown - has just given back some of his pension - think RBS!!
There's an exclusive little clique who live and socialise in this area - including Ian Rankin - JK Rowling - and Alexander McCall Smith of Mme Ramotse fame.

Spent 4 lovely days in Edinburgh. Attended a concert for children with learning difficulties with my grandson one evening. It was fabulous and every child in Pilrigg school took part. The concert was held in one of Edinburgh's main theatres and was extremely professional - apart from last bit when fireworks on stage set off the fire alarm and, to the children's delight, we were greeted by fire engines in full flow as we left the building!