Wednesday 17 October 2018

Happy Birthday Blue Peter!

 This week my sister and I have been helping my Dad clear out some old boxes in his shed. We have found allsorts. One box was packed with old annuals and coincidentally, to coincide with their 60th birthday, we found a pile of Blue Peter annuals. What pleasure we got from them as children.

Looking through the pages I realised how much I had learned from them.  A few weeks ago I was bathing the dogs and having a moan. "Why is it always me who baths the dogs?" I asked. "Because you know just how to do it" replied youngest son and daughter. "I wasn't born knowing how to do it." I said" I read how to in my Blue Peter Annual!" The truth is I did and it has stuck in my mind all these years along with so many other interesting things.

   I loved every article and episode about dogs and can remember so clearly Petra's puppies. I loved Patch, John Noakes puppy and was heartbroken when he died, although I loved Shep the Border Collie, his next dog too.

   I remember all the old episodes with Christopher Trace, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes and the slightly later ones with Peter Purvis.

    Then there were all the things we made! Sugar mice, little pots to keep washing up brushes in and of course there was the Advent Crown. We struggled and struggled with our Advent Crown and it fell apart after one advent. Blue Peter presenters seemed to drag out their one for the next twenty years I'm sure they were just remaking it and pretending it was the same one!

    The item that was made on the programme I loved most was the farm. My Dad made one for me and I kept it and played with it for years. It brought me so much pleasure. I am trying to recreate it at the moment but that is a whole other story.

    I was obsessed with the programme, I collected for all the Christmas appeals, entered the competitions, bought the jig saws, wrote in asking for autographs and  managed to win a badge. I still have it somewhere! When my children were young I would watch it with them and incredibly the same format was cleverly adapted for those times. I just wish I had bought them annuals at the time and I may be getting some help bathing the dogs now! 
    I'm so glad the programme is still going strong for Scarlett to enjoy when she gets a bit older and as soon as she is I will definitely be watching it with her. For anyone who grew up loving Blue Peter, what ever age you are I hope you enjoy this video marking the 60th Birthday. It certainly brought a tear to my eye!

Monday 15 October 2018

Back To The 1970s

When we bought our 1970s caravan I thought it would be fun to fill it with my 1970s collectables. I mean I have enough of them. Tom laughed at me but  as always just humours me! What fun we have had. I'm always looking out for more finds. My youngest daughter's boyfriend found an old 1970s cassette player in a skip and I found the most fantastic bright orange cassette storage case at a jumble sale for 50p. We scour jumble sales and car boot sales for old 1970s cassettes, which is not easy, where on earth have they all gone? Then in our caravan our evenings are spent listening to Motown, cooking meals on our little gas cooker, drinking wine and sighing about how beautiful the view is! From laughing at me in the beginning Tom loves it. It is the most peaceful and stress free experience.
  We have chosen very quiet caravan sites. The caravan club has lots of sites called Certified Locations which only have five caravan pitches. Some weekends we have been completely on our own. It has been Heaven.

   We are still hoping to get another couple of weekends away before winter sets in. I have a couple of new Diana Ross cassettes that I have to listen to!

Sunday 14 October 2018

Alive and Kicking

"I haven't written a blog post for months!" I said to me eldest daughter the other day. "They are going to think you have died" she replied. Oh no how dreadful. Imagine if someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer googles "Follicular Thyroid Cancer" and finds my blog, then comes to the same conclusion. It couldn't be further from the truth I'm very much alive and kicking! I remember those first days after diagnosis you feel so desperate and worried and cling to stories of people who have recovered and skim through the the other stories praying that won't be you.Well for any person who is in that situation I will tell you how things have been going.
    The last time I wrote about my thyroid cancer I was just starting the treatment at the Royal Marsden after my two operations. Luckily with thyroid cancer you don't usually need chemotherapy but have Radioactive Iodine Therapy. The hardest part for me was the diet I had to go on for two weeks before the treatment. No dairy or fish and as I don't eat meat anyway, I had to become totally vegan. No chocolate either at least I could drink wine!  I had to go to the Marsden for two days before admission for injections and in June I went in for the treatment.
  "How long will I be in solitary confinement?" I asked the doctor. He visibly flinched. "We like to call it isolation." he answered. I felt like saying I'm in a room on my own, with no visitors or staff members allowed in and my food is passed through a flap in the door, in my view that's solitary confinement! The treatment was fine though, I had a lovely little room with a TV and I took my laptop in even though it did have to be wrapped in cling film! I had a full body scan before I was discharged and had restrictions as to who I could be close to for five days.
   The worst day for me was going back to get the results of the scan two weeks later to see if the cancer had spread. In your life you imagine pictures of the future, weddings, grandchildren, family get togethers and in my mind I was there in the pictures as an old person. In the months after my diagnosis suddenly those pictures were hard to imagine. I may not be in them. As I sat waiting for the results I thought what ever happens I will try to make the best of it all, no point making a fuss, but I was very nervous and had wanted to be on my own, I didn't want to have to worry about anyone else's feelings but my own at that moment. When the doctor came in smiling and told me the scan was all clear it was incredible. Like Marty McFly in "Back To The Future" I could instantly see myself appearing back in the pictures!
   Being diagnosed with cancer has definitely been a positive experience for me. Every day I wake up and if I feel a bit down I think "Stop it. you are alive and have a life!" I enjoy every day now and think I always will. That has been the main reason I haven't been able to write my blog really. I have been doing everything I ever fancied doing! Weekends in our caravan, trips into London, Highclere Castle. meet ups with old friends and afternoon teas. I try not to waste any day. If it is just a quiet day working and pottering in the garden I  love it. I look at my little garden and the flowers and think how lucky I am. Oh and then there is the new puppy! What fun she has been. If there is anyone still hanging on in there with me, I will try over the next weeks to fill you in a bit on what has been going on. Here is a photo of our little 70's time warp caravan until the next post when I'll share some more photos of her.

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