About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

A Journey with Bluebell

Before the assembly process began
So today was Isaac's fourth Birthday and as you may or may not know he is a bit of a train geek.
When he was asked what type of Birthday cake he wanted he originally asked for Stepney. OK I thought I can do this he wants a birthday cake shaped like an engine I can do this.

As his birthday got closer I suddenly had a panic, He actually wanted a birthday cake shaped like a steam engine!!! Yep, an actual steam engine. 

Then he moved the boundaries. The conversation went something like this.
Me " So, Isaac, it's your birthday party soon, do you still want a cake shaped like Stephney?"
Isaac "Mummy, I love the Bluebell Railway. Bluebell is my favourite engine, can you make a Bluebell cake?"
Me " So you'd like a cake shaped like Bluebell"
Isaac "Can I have 2 cakes? A Bluebell cake and an Archie cake?"
Me "Isaac you can have one birthday cake - Bluebell or Stepney?"
Isaac "Ok, I'll have Bluebell, Next year can you make me an Archie cake?"

So there you have it, my nearly (& now) 4 year old knows his own mind and wanted a Bluebell 323 engine cake.

So now came the logistics. Do you have any idea how many bits there are to an engine? 

Luckily we spend a lot of time at the Bluebell Railway and I have a lot of photos of Bluebell to compare and work from. We did go again and I did take a lot of photos so that I had things to work from.

 We started with the wheels. I was quite proud of this. I made, from scratch, 4 swiss rolls.
I had never made a swiss roll before and was really surprised as to how easy it was. I found the recipe here and they were very easy and so light when I had to eat the offcuts later!!

So after the wheels then there was the base board. I made a total of 6 sponge cakes to be able to manufacture this masterpiece.

The sponges were a basic 4 egg, 8oz of caster sugar, flour & margarine and baked for 20 minutes in a 180C oven. I used a square silicon pan and a rectangle one to give me shapes that I could cut easily and use to assemble.

Once the base was assembled and stuck together (I used buttercream for that) I had to cut the final swiss roll to form the boiler

I then used the rest of the rectangles and cut them into sections to form then cab and bunker. I sandwiched them together with buttercream and jam to provide some variety in the taste.
I also used 2 square offcuts to form the tanks on the side of the boiler.

The finished item before icing began

 As this was my first attempt at I cake I have to confess that I cheated a little with the icing. I used shop bought ready made icing in blue, black & red.
I used a circular cutter to make the wheel shapes and front of the boiler and rolled rectangles to cover the remainder of the cake. 

I had a slight panic when I ran out of blue icing and it took a while to find some more in Sainsburys.

I also used red around the bottom of the boiler & cab and above the wheels and coloured some white icing yellow to form the dome.
Leftover cake bits

 And here in all its blue, red, yellow and black glory is the finished product. I used ready made piping icing to add the detailing and because I couldn't write Bluebell small enough I wrote it on the cake board where I had planned to put Isaac's name and age
A small boy with the 'real' Bluebell
and with his birthday Bluebell

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Monday, 18 June 2012

If you've got a moment

This is my incredible sister, Jo. 

You may notice a couple of additions too my blog layout today. It's because of Jo that they are there. 

On the 27th August 2012, she is going to do a skydive to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer.

Please take a moment to click on the link and sponsor her. She has been an incredible support over the last year. From driving across the country to pick me up from the hospital and help me look after the children for 1 night. To sending me little packages through the post with things I might like or need in. I could not ask for a better sister. 

And now she is going to jump out of a plane to raise money for the charity that has provided me with the most support over the last year and ongoing support even now.

Beating Bowel Cancer is a charity which provides support to bowel cancer patients and their families. I have used their patient information leaflets, their forums and have found them so supportive and informative throughout the horrible year I have had. 

Please support my sister in her incredible challenge

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Imogen's Cushion

 So, I posted a picture of the Winnie The Pooh crossstitch when I finished it. As soon as Imogen saw it she was nagging (as much as a 2 year old can) for it to be made into a cushion.

I knew how I wanted to do it. I have a large amount of fabric remnants and knew that I would be able to find one large enough to make an envelope style cushion cover. 

However I wanted to do something a bit different and so I combined a granny square I made with the fabric and the crossstitch et voila, the completed cushion.

Imogen loves it. She has bought it downstairs to show visitors but must remember to take it back upstairs as she cuddles up to it every

I am so proud of it. It is loved by her and hence makes me happy. But it is not just that. This wasn't just a slap dash project. I thought about it and took my time and consequently I am very proud of it.

My daughter may love it but she would not pose for a picture, so you'll have to make do with a cheesy Isaac (& living room mess!!)
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Friday, 8 June 2012

A coupe of quick crochet projects

So, I finished the granny square for the back of Imogen's cushion. But that will have to wait for an upload until its finished. Instead this evening I have knocked up these. The card was inspired by some fuzzy felt cards I saw years ago. It struck me as a novel use for an everyday toy and since learning crochet last year I have wondered about the market for crochet cards. Lets see how well this one goes down.

The other project is supposed to be a rose, I always seem to screw up the sewing up. But it should do to accessorise my wedding outfit for tomorrow.