Monday, 11 June 2012

Long to rain over us......

Well, I suppose it was inevitable.....a long weekend to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee (or just enjoy some extra non-working time) and the wonderful British weather thinks it's time to turn the tap on - and keep it on!

We were in Bury St Edmunds the day of the Thames Pageant, celebrating the wedding anniversary of our friends Keith and Glynis and and their belated house-warming, only five years late!  It was good to meet up with other mutual friends and huddle round the open fire on this special occasion, feeling sorry for those who braved the rain in London as we enjoyed some good company, food and drink in the dry.  

We stayed that night at a B&B in Bury, in a street where a party had been planned. Although the party had taken refuge in a nearby church, the rain had eased off enough by the time we checked in to allow a game of street cricket with wheely bins for stumps to take place.  Everyone was having a great time!

The following morning we had a walk around the historic village of Lavenham, and were amazed at how much effort the local people had put into dressing the village for the Jubilee! 

Later that day we travelled on to Long Melford nearby, for a get together over pub lunch with my cousin.  The last time we had been in that pub was after her husband's funeral, so it was good to go back on not such a sad occasion. 

The rest of last week was so bad weather-wise, we were glad to be able to stay at home and catch up on other things, including preparing some images which are going to be used to promote a photographic competition later this year.  

The wind and rain on Friday meant that we put off leaving home until late in the day, hoping that things might improve and as a result, only just made it to the Royal Photographic Society's HQ in Bath to collect some prints before closing time before going on to Bristol to stay with our son Jack.  

We were back in Bath again on Saturday attending an RPS event to celebrate Distinctions.  It's not often you get to see recent work by Licentiates, Associates and Fellows.  Now we know what we are aiming for, when we go for our "F"s! Although the sun was shining outside, the wind was still strong.  As a result, we weren't surprised to hear that all hot air balloon flights from the city had been cancelled.  That's the third cancellation since we tried to go up in the mass ascent at last year's Bristol Balloon Fiesta.  At this rate, I wonder whether we will get airborne again before the flight voucher runs out!  No matter.  The cancellation gave us the opportunity to wander round Bath and remind ourselves just how impressive is the Royal Crescent.

Sunday in Bristol gave us the opportunity to visit Steve's mum before saying our farewells to Jack and heading back to Oxford.  We had to brave the rain today to re-stock on food.  I was reminded of a banner spotted in the Mall on the day of the Jubilee procession through London.  Someone had written "Long to rain over us"  - an amazingly accurate statement in more ways than one.  

Forgetting the weather for a moment, it's been a week of ups and downs in other respects.  I heard that my application was the 2000th successful award from the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) and as a result, some of my images will be featured in PAGB news in July.  Another image has been featured in the galleries of 1X and Fotoblur, two international photographic websites, which was very heartening after a long lean period on both those sites.  

On the downside, we learned of the death of another Meso Warrior, Norman.  Only last month, Norman and his wife were on holiday in Kent and had met up with fellow Meso bloggers Mavis and Ray for a meal out on 8 May.

Norman and Rose courtesy of Mavis's blog
Rose and Norman were looking forward to a cruise around the Scottish Highlands at the end of the month.  Instead of that, Norman was admitted to hospital in the early hours of 29 May, with pneumonia in his "good" lung - the one without meso.  He died on 7 June after a short but courageous battle.  How cruel is that?  We send our love to Rose and her family.

Norman's death has shocked the mesothelioma group on Facebook.  It's a stark reminder of how vulnerable you are to infection when undergoing chemotherapy, as he was.  So please, please, please, all of you out there whose immune systems are weakened by chemo, take extra care of yourselves until your strength returns, and that includes you Debbie in Plymouth currently undergoing chemotherapy; you Tess in Kent, if you decide to re-start chemo: you Mavis also in Kent if more chemo is an option after your next scan, not forgetting you Jan, if you go down that route in September.

We will know what's in store for us after Steve's next assessment this Thursday. Until then, we are in the horrible waiting period - waiting for Steve's X-Ray and assessment; waiting for the results of my biopsy six weeks ago which should be available in the next week or two, and for the results of the regular mamogram which should come through around the same time.  As usual, I am getting very twitchy.  I think I'll go and see how the England team are doing against France in the Euro 2012 match.  At least we will know the results of that in less than an hour!


  1. Good luck with all the scans and glad to hear you had such a good time in Bath, it is one of our favourite places.
    This time is always testing so as ever our thoughts are with you and will be hoping for good news
    Wishing you both well

  2. Keep those positive thoughts strong for Steve and yourself, we are all routing for a good result and confident it will be.
    How fast these months have flown by before we know it next June will be here and you will be voicing the same thoughts.
    Looking forward to the good News on Thursday posts.