Saturday, 15 October 2011

Desperation; Pacification; Expectation; Acclamation; Realization

If you are of a certain age or happen to collect old shop signs, you may be familiar with the Fry's Five Boys chocolate bar advertisement from the 1960s.  If not, this is what I'm talking about:

Desperation; Pacification; Expectation; Acclamation; Realization

I've felt a little bit like the boy in the advert this week - going through a range of similar emotions, but not necessarily in the same order!

This time last week, we were expecting visitors......Time to catch up on housework, make home look welcoming and ensure there was enough clean bedding for our guests. Fortunately all was ready by the time they arrived (earlier than expected) after a day walking the Thames Path, so we didn't get to the desperation stage!  In fact, we enjoyed a lovely meal out on Saturday night with Di and Gwen, then walked it off on Sunday morning joining them for a few miles along the Thames towpath, before heading home.

However, I confess to feeling slightly desperate on and off throughout the week whilst trying to finalise arrangements for daughter Katie's move into a new flat in Manchester which is supposed to happen very soon. Many phone calls and e-mails later, I think we are nearly there, but it could still all go horribly wrong at the last minute.......

We spent Thursday afternoon and evening in London at the AOP (Association of Photographers) Open Awards 2011 exhibition.  The intention had been to visit some of the other work on show in the Brick Lane area as part of PhotoMonth, the East London Photography Festival, before going on to the AOP launch party.  However, the first "exhibition" turned out to be a few photos tucked away in the basement of a cafe bar next to the toilets, and the second venue - a pub - didn't appear to have any photography on show.  Tired of wandering round, we headed for the old Spitalfields Market, found somewhere good to eat and were pacified with a couple of happy hour Mojitos while we waited for our food.  

I didn't have any great expectations of winning one of the judge's or people's choice awards which were announced at the AOP Open later that evening, but I was very pleased that one of my images was amongst the 66 photos selected for the exhibition out of over 1500 submitted by both professional and amateur photographers from all over the world.  

Steve's good news on the photography came yesterday. He has been shortlisted in the Art 4 Wards project to provide artwork for one of our local hospitals, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.  The Trust wants to buy four of his prints to cheer up patients and staff.  So acclamation for Steve!  And one member of staff may be interested in buying my submission, so I am pacified.....

All week, my expectations have been mounting as I anticipated reaching the magic number of 1000 images posted on Fotoblur - an international online photographic community which I joined in August 2009, not long after Steve was first diagnosed with mesothelioma. A daily dose of Fotoblur was one of the things that helped me keep going back then - a sort of creative lifeline which I clung to while Steve was going through chemo, something positive to occupy my mind while he was napping in the day and having early nights to manage the side effects of the treatment.  

I reached the magic number yesterday and posted the 1000th image with a thank you note to Lance Ramoth (Fotoblur's founder) and the members of the community who have provided support, encouragement and inspiration over the last two years. The response has been overwhelming and very touching. Like the support from the Meso Warriors on Facebook, none of this would have been possible without the internet. So - acclamation for virtual friends and the world wide web!

On and off throughout the week, I have been checking on the progress of other Meso Warriors - Anita in Oz is recovering well from surgery; Mavis in Kent has just started her chemo and drug trial - so far so good; Ronny is still fighting hard; Jan is back from Greece, feeling positive and make plans for next year. I have added another blog under We are not alone - Amanda, whose partner was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2010 and is still here, still fighting, still enjoying life one year on.  I'm sure we all have times when we feel desperation, but we learn how to manage our expectations and realize the importance of making the most of life - a good advert for how to live with mesothelioma :-)



  1. Oh my - Frys 5 boys takes me back! Well done both on your photographic successes. Will take a look at Amanda's blog. Have a good week. x