Tuesday 16 June 2015

Reasons to be cheerful - including one very special one!

It's east to let life's frustrations and negative things get you down, but since my last post we've had several reasons to be cheerful...

...An unexpected invitation

Last week, as the sun shone in a clear blue sky, the phone rang and it was a friend inviting us over to Islip,a village near Oxford where we live, for drinks with him and his wife.  

A few years ago, their dream of downsizing into the small stable block apartment in the grounds of their larger house appeared to be shattered when the local council raised a "fundamental" objection to any further enlargement of the building on Green Belt grounds.  However, some planning advice from us and one meeting with the planners later and the objection evaporated.  The stables were enlarged with permission; they have moved in, sold the big house and worked hard on the new garden over the winter.  And it's marvellous!  

Thank you Richard and Mary for a very enjoyable evening in beautiful surroundings, with good food and wine and excellent company!

...Going over the top

My birthday present last year and daughter Katie's birthday present this year from son/brother Jack was to climb over the roof of the Millennium Dome, now known as the 02 Arena, in London.  It's been a long time coming, and sadly Jack didn't make it, but Katie and I did the climb on Sunday, after lunch at Craft London on the Greenwich Peninsula with Steve.

When the time came, we donned oversized climbing suits and comfy boots, strapped up our harnesses, clicked on to the safety wire and climbed up the bouncy fabric walkway to the top of the Dome 52m high.  

15-20 minutes, some mobile phone views of London's skyline and a couple of selfies later, it was time to make the decent.  

Walking up and down a 30 degree incline on a bouncy walkway high above London tethered to a safety line is not the easiest thing in the world, but a great thrill!  I'm so glad we did it.  Thank you Jack!

...Enjoying the garden

The garden has come into its own in recent weeks, when the weather has been warm enough to sit out.  The raised beds are now packed to bursting point with not only the plants that we put but also self-sown seeds that have sprung into life after the soil has been moved around: forget-me-nots; poppies; foxgloves; granny's bonnet; love-lies-bleeding...It almost seems a pity to leave it now, as the next wave of buds are starting to open...but it's that time again!

...Off on another adventure 

We are going back to Andalusia very soon for some more sight-seeing, photography; good food and wine and warm sunshine.  A good way to fill the time between now and Steve's next scan and hospital appointment in July! 

..But there best reason to be cheerful is

Today is the sixth anniversary of Steve's mesothelioma diagnosis.  And in spite of the doctor's dire prognosis back in early December last year that he only a "small number of months" to live, he's still here and we are still doing things and having fun.  He has been a bit breathless recently but thinks it more likely to be hay fever than the meso as his eyes have been red and stingy too.  Must remember to pack the hay fever tablets and puffer! 

Please join us in a virtual glass this evening to celebrate this special occasion.  Cheers! 

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