Doors Open*

Am keeping a disgruntled fluffy monster company in the parental bedroom. Mum has shut us in here as the fluffy monster has come in and they’re going out for dinner so she doesn’t want him disappearing again. She also doesn’t want to shut all the doors and windows, so we’re shut in here whilst all around us, bits of the house are still open.

Here’s the fluffy one:

Work hard at Spin this morning. Here I am with The Master:

Here is graph:

Am a bit discouraged that am not improving, but I suppose the thing is that am having chemotherapy and suffering its side effects, so must just be pleased with self for attending Spin and pleased with whatever I manage. After all, am not recovering at the moment, am undergoing treatment.

Have finished Circe already: it’s excellent.

The fluffy monster is now crouched by the door. He wants to get out of this room and, presumably, into a room containing some food. Or maybe he feels that he deserves more time outside. He’s going to be disappointed there.

Have an iced coffee in here. The panther lies on the bed next to me, resting his heavy head on my shoulder.

Mum moves us into the fluffy monster’s bedroom and gives him some food. Can hear him crunching through it. It’s a bit cooler in here.

Mum opens the door to the room we’re in. “I’ve shut all the doors and windows,” she says. “So the fluffy monster can come out of here.”

He saunters off.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

*2008. By Ian Rankin. Thriller.


Walk Dolly with Mum. She is very pleased to see us and rugby-tackles both of us from behind when we arrive.

“Cross your arms, turn your back on her and say ‘No’,” I say to Mum. “She’s not allowed to do that.”

We walk to Primrose Hill and Mum takes photos of us – see above. It’s not too hot this morning, about 20 degrees. Cuddling Dolly, I stroke the top of her head.

When we arrive home, my neighbour has left a present for me. Look:

It’s really good: have been reading it in the garden. Loved The Song Of Achilles. Can heartily recommend Circe.

Have just caught the fluffy monster behind a tree in the rockery and he’s indoors now. Will go in to be with him soon.

Before my sleep this afternoon, watch the conclusion of the Men’s Doubles Final which is won by Mike Bryan and Jack Sock.

The panther lies on the terrace, resting his head on his front paws, his eyes closed. Every so often he flicks an ear or twitches the tip of his tail.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

*2018. By Madeline Miller. Novel about Circe, the nymph and enchantress.

A Very English Scandal*

Wake up feeling sick so take my anti-sickness pill. Make it to Spin and feel better once I’m there. Here is graph:

Work hard at Spin. When I get home, finish reading Penelope Lively’s Life In The Garden whilst sitting in the garden.

Watch some of the Men’s Double’s Final with Mum that we recorded the other day. Am very sad that Wimbledon is finished.

Now am watching A Very English Scandal about Jeremy Thorpe. It’s ever so good. It stars Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott.

Have just cuddled my fluffy monster. He is so soft and orange. Now he has gone outside.

The panther lies on the floor at my feet. He is grooming himself: rasping his flank with a sandpapery tongue.

The attached photo is with The Master at Spin this morning.

Happy Monday everyone!

*2018. TV miniseries. Written by Russell T Davies and John Preston. Directed by Stephen Frears. Stars Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Alex Jennings and Patricia Hodge.

Champion’s Choice*

Wake up feeling sick again but take my anti-sickness pill and go to Spin. Feel better once I get there. Here is graph:

Watch the first two sets of the Wimbledon Men’s Final which Novak Djokovic takes 6 – 2 6 – 2. Kevin Anderson’s first serve percentage is down and he’s not getting anywhere on Novak’s serve. He seems exhausted and possibly injured. We’re watching the third, and I now know final set now. Novak is delivering a masterclass as he heads towards his fourth Wimbledon title.

Am itchy all over which I presume is a side effect of my chemo drug.

The panther lies next to me, resting his chin on the arm of the sofa. He gazes at the television with amber eyes.

The attached photo is with The Master at Spin this morning.

Happy Sunday everyone!

*1940. By John Tunis. Children’s tennis novel.

Advantage Miss Jackson*

Wake up with bad nausea but make it to Spin and feel better once am there. Here is graph:

Average effort 71% – that’s the best so far since I’ve started wearing my monitor again.

We catch up on the third set of Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic from last night. The match starts again at 1pm and Novak wins it eventually after hours of wonderful tennis.

Have my sleep. Have just woken up and now watching the Women’s Final recorded earlier between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.

Have just shelled yet more peas and broad beans. At this period of the summer am shelling them every day. It’s exhausting.

Haven’t seen that fluffy monster since about twelve o’clock when he comes in, shouts loudly at Mum for some food and then saunters out again. He can be quite a rude person where Food is concerned.

It’s 6.19pm now. We’ll probably watch this till suppertime and watch a Midsomer Murders after supper: there’s one on later.

The panther lies on the floor at my feet, cleaning himself. Licking a paw, he wipes it across his face.

The attached photo is with The Boss at Spin today.

Happy Saturday everyone!

*1991. By Michael Hardcastle. Teenage fiction tennis novel.

Morning Glory Murders*

Wake up with severe nausea so cancel Spin.

Finally there are some flowers on the morning glory:

Go back to sleep and Dad wakes me up at 10.20am. Put some clothes on and walk Gandalf with Mum. He’s so pleased to see me. Here we are:

Towards the end of the walk it is hot and Gandalf is panting and am worried about him. It’s 20 degrees but feels hotter. Am going to ask Gandalf’s owner if can walk him earlier in the day next week: don’t want him to overheat. Give him cuddles. Have missed my favourite boy.

We’ve been watching the Wimbledon semi-final between 6 ft 8 Kevin Anderson and 6 ft 10 John Isner for most of its four hours. We’re now in the fifth set. There have been three tiebreaks but we can’t have one in this final set. So it could be a while before we see Rafa and Novak.

The panther lies on the sofa next to me, resting his head on my thighs. Stroking the soft back of his neck, I gaze at the television.

Happy Friday everyone!

*2010. By Phyllis Fisher. Murder mystery novel.

The Primrose Hill Murder*

Mum takes me to see Dolly this morning. Well: we drive to my flat and then catch an Uber to Dolly’s flat. She is So Pleased to see me and we have cuddles.

It’s a struggle climbing the hills but breathing is not quite as bad as it was before the operations, so that’s something. Manage Primrose Hill and Rosslyn Hill without too much huffing and puffing. Think this is about as good as breathing is going to get, so must just get used to it I suppose.

We watch Angelique Kerber defeating Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets and then I have my sleep.

Wake up and shell the peas and broad beans. Watch some mixed doubles: Jamie Murray and Victoria Azarenka winning their match and Jay Clarke and Harriet Dart winning theirs.

The fluffy monster is in and prowling around.

The panther lies on the sofa next to me. He rests his head on the arm of the sofa and gazes at the television with amber eyes.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*1992. By Jeremy Potter. Historical murder mystery novel.


Try my best at Spin. Here is graph:

Watch most of Roger’s match which he has just lost to Kevin Anderson, tragically. Now watching Rafa vs Del Potro. Come on Rafa!

Need to go out in a minute to get new Minx toes. Rafa has won the first set and it’s 4 all in the second.

Mum has gone to Wimbledon again.

Have been feeling a bit of nausea from the chemo drugs so have taken my anti-sickness pills.

Argh Del Potro has just broken Rafa’s serve. It would be terrible if Roger and Rafa both went out today!

Haven’t seen the fluffy monster all day and we’ll have to catch him as Mum will be out.

It’s actually a relief to leave the house and sit at the beautician: away from the television and the stress of watching Wimbledon. Just hope Rafa can hold it together and win his match.

Pick out my new Minx foil wraps. Right: had better go and talk to my beautician. The panther lies on the polished wood floor at my feet: he grooms himself, rasping his flank with his sandpapery tongue.

The attached photo is with The Master at Spin today.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

*1992. By Liza Cody. Tennis Mystery novel.

Spitfires Over Malta*

Here is one of Mum’s best wall baskets, containing petunias, Busy Lizzies and Calibrachoa.

Sleep in a bit this morning and wait for Mum to return from the dentist. Then we count out my chemotherapy drugs and I take them.

We go for a walk and it’s a struggle: possibly because I’ve missed a few days of walking due to how hot it’s been. Lungs don’t feel good. Need to build up my walking again.

On the plus side: we watch the 100 years of the RAF ceremony at Buckingham Palace and see the hundred plane flypast. It includes typhoons flying in the shape 100 and a Battle Of Britain Group with a Lancaster, Hurricanes and Spitfires. It’s a wonderful display.

Watch a bit of Kerber vs Kasatkina and Serena Williams vs Camila Giorgi. Now I think there’s some Men’s Doubles coming on Centre Court.

Andy Murray is in the studio with Sue Barker and Tim Henman and it’s great to see him. Come back Andy, we miss you!

The panther lies on the sofa next to me with his head in my lap. Stroking the soft back of his neck, I watch the television.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

*2005. By Brian Cull and Frederick R. Galea. Story of the RAF’s gallant stand to hold Malta against all odds and to save the island from invasion.

Death On The Centre Court*

Do what I can at Spin. Here is graph:

It’s not too bad. Need to improve. Manage all the standing flats and standing climbs anyway.

Then we go to the cancer hospital. They take some bloods and give me my chemotherapy drugs. Have about six different drugs to take: the chemo drugs and different ones to counteract various side effects. It seems like it’s going to be a hassle.

Roger wins his match in straight sets and now I’m watching Rafa who’s a set and a break up. He wins his service game to love to go up 5 – 3 in the second. He’s only dropped six points on serve in the match.

I see my fluffy at about two o’clock and give him a cuddle and put him outside. It’s another hot day and I’ve got the fan on.

Rafa takes the second set 6 – 3 on Vesely’s serve.

Mum is frying something in the kitchen. I can hear sizzling and smell onions.

The panther lies on the floor at my feet. Resting his head on his front paws, he dozes. Every so often he flicks an ear or twitches the tip of his tail.

Tomorrow I start my chemo drugs. Hope the side effects aren’t too bad.

The attached photo is with The Master at Spin today.

Happy Monday everyone!

*1937. By George Goodchild. Novel in the Inspector McLean Mystery series in which the Inspector investigates the death of a player at Wimbledon.