Do the RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch this morning with Mum. We see our usual visitors: blue tits, great tits, blackbirds, robins, dunnocks, wood pigeons, a coal tit. We also see a beautiful long-tailed tit who doesn’t often visit and a stock dove. The Great Spotted Woodpecker stays away, which is a shame. Still: we get a respectable haul and it’s good to focus on our birds for a whole hour.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep. Wake up and have coffee ☕️, a baked apple 🍏 and watch one of my brother’s lectures that he sent to Dad.
My Aunty and Uncle visit with my cheese and celery sandwiches which is so kind of them.
Dad takes me to a venue in St Albans to have my vaccination 💉 where the doctor is able to inject it into my leg.
Fluffball goes out a bit today but is now in, resting on his spotty sofa.
Tonight we’re watching Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner which Dad records yesterday.
Happy Sunday everyone!
*1967. Feature film. Stars Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Sydney Poitier and Katherine Houghton. Directed by Stanley Kramer. Written by William Rose.
My Facebook Newsfeed is full of copies of In Bloom that my friends pre-ordered. It’s so exciting that the book is out and people are reading it. If you’re reading it: five star ⭐️ reviews are welcome on Amazon and Goodreads please. Five five star ⭐️ reviews are already up on Amazon which is so gratifying.
It rains all day. Fluffball just manages ten minutes outside and is then in the house for the rest of the day:
Work hard at Barre and see all my chums on Zoom. Chat to MadFatRunner and see the Great Spotted Woodpecker having his breakfast. Hope this doesn’t mean that he’s absent for the RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch tomorrow.
Dad takes me for my vaccination 💉 but the pharmacists there are not licensed to inject anywhere except arms, so I can’t have it as I’ve had all my nodes out and cuts, scratches or injections in arms will cause lymphoedema: my whole arm will swell up with fluid. So, we’re given a number to call tomorrow. It seems probable that I’ll have to visit a hospital 🏥 or at least a centre with doctors administering the vaccine 💉.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep. Wake up and finish watching The Dig. It’s about the excavation at Sutton Hoo in 1939 and is a lovely film. Catch it on Netflix.
Continue reading The Heartbreaker which is wonderful.
Chat to brother in Abroad.
Back pain is bad today and I need a couple of extra doses of morphine.
Tonight supper will be vegetarian chilli 🌶. Then we will watch the Peter Cushing The Hound Of The Baskervilles which Dad recorded earlier today.
Happy Saturday everyone!
*1902. By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Brilliant Sherlock Holmes detective novel.
Pilates is excellent this morning. I do love it. Am So Grateful to my lovely teacher for putting on a Zoom Barre class or Pilates class or Personal Training every day except Sunday. It keeps me going: as do the little chats with my exercise chums before and after. It’s the one connection I have every day with people who aren’t my parents.
Take a promenade around the garden with Mum. The tulips 🌷, baby irises, crocuses and daffodils 🌼 have shoots out. There is new growth on the peonies. Soon it will be spring.
Dad procures me a vaccination 💉 appointment for tomorrow, which is good.
After lunch we drive to my parental friends’ house. They have just cut back their mimosa and give us some cuttings:
Meditate 🧘♀️ and sleep 🛌. Wake up and have a baked apple 🍏 that Mum made yesterday with my coffee ☕️ and lemon 🍋 squash. Watch Marco Polo with Dad.
Fluffball goes out this morning for two thirty minute slots. It’s too cold for him and he doesn’t like the wind blowing his fur about.
If you’re in the UK and still haven’t purchased your paperback copy of In Bloom – Amazon have nine copies on Prime – you’ll receive it tomorrow! I’m So Glad my paperback is on Amazon again.
I’m going to crack on with The Heartbreaker now. Tonight, after supper, we are going to watch The Dig which is about the excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938 and is recommended in The Times today. It’s on Netflix. I read the John Preston novel from which it is adapted some years ago and enjoyed it.
Happy Friday everyone!
*2021. Feature film. Stars Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James and Johnny Flynn. Directed by Simon Stone. Screenplay by Moira Buffini, adapted from the novel by John Preston.
Mum wakes me up for telephone chat with oncologist at nine o’clock. I tell him that one of the nurses said “if you have a nosebleed just go to A & E”. He says that my platelets are seventy two and that he’s not worried unless they fall below ten, so that’s good.
Work really hard at Personal Training and my trainer is pleased with me.
Good news! Amazon UK are now selling In Bloom again, thanks to hard work from my agents and possibly the four five star ⭐️ reviews of the book. I’m so happy and relieved about this as Amazon is such an important marketplace.
Phone my agent to say thank you and she says there’ve been some technical hitches with the audiobook, but she expects this to be sorted out next week. I really want the audiobook to be available as I spent a lot of time recording it and the sound engineer says it’s really good.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep. Wake up and have coffee ☕️, lemon 🍋 squash and a banana 🍌. We watch Episode One of Marco Polo in the four o’clock slot vacated by Medici. Whilst I like it, Dad isn’t that bothered about it and Mum dislikes it.
Give Fluffball a couple of his meals today. Here he is:
Supper will be vegetarian chilli 🌶, rice and vegetables. I’m going to crack on with The Heartbreaker now.
Happy Thursday everyone!
*2014. Television series about Marco Polo’s adventures at the court of Kublai Khan in the thirteenth century.
Another book arrives for my Symbolic Doorways: Astrology and Intuition course. I love the sound of this one:
We all wear our leopard 🐆 print leggings for Barre today and work very hard.
Drive with Mum to our nearest RSPCA centre to deliver some towels for bedding for the dogs. They also need duvets if you have any spare.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep on my comfortable air-filled mattress topper: I love it.
My constipation – caused by a combination of chemotherapy and morphine – is bad today, so I have a couple of extra sachets of Movicol. Let’s hope that will start things moving.
Wake up and have coffee ☕️ and pineapple 🍍 and watch Traces: a new BBC drama about a girl investigating her mother’s murder. It seems OK but it’s set in Scotland – written by Val McDermid the Scottish crime writer – so we really need subtitles and there aren’t any.
Fluffball spends a lot of time inside today as it’s cold. Here he is at lunchtime:
It’s vegetarian chilli 🌶, rice 🍚 and sprouts for supper. Am back in bed for the moment and am going to read some more of The Heartbreaker.
Happy Wednesday everyone!
*1978. By W. E. Butler. A collection of four essays. The other three are: how to practise psychometry, telepathy and clairvoyance.
My mattress topper arrives from Macmillan today. Dad blows it up. Here it is:
As you can see: it matches my purple bedroom 💜. Work hard at Pilates this morning and have a chat with my teacher and Pilates chums.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep. My new mattress topper is so comfortable. Do some reading for my Astrology Course. Have coffee ☕️ and pineapple 🍍.
We watch the last episode of Medici. It’s a real tear-jerker at Lorenzo’s deathbed, but his legacy of discovering and patronising Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli will never be forgotten.
Fluffball goes out this morning for a while and is now sleeping in the hall.
Mum does my injection to boost my white blood cells – I’m so lucky to have my parents to look after me. Yesterday at chemo, the nurse says “if you have a nosebleed go straight to A & E,” as if that’s even an option in this time of Coronavirus. My platelet count is dangerously low.
It’s MadFatRunner’s birthday so I call her. It’s so good to speak to her.
I’m just going to read The Heartbreaker for a bit and then it will be quiche for supper.
Happy Tuesday everyone!
*2014. By Leigh Russell. A Detective Geraldine Steel mystery, Book 4.
The snow hasn’t melted. Work hard at Barre and then Dad drives me to chemotherapy. Platelets still dangerously low but oncologist says I must have chemo anyway.
Read my Martin Amis book Inside Story which now am going to put aside as The Heartbreaker has arrived – yay.
In Bloom has three five star ⭐️ reviews on Amazon already: one by a friend and two by people I don’t know. So that’s good.
Meditate and sleep. Watch an episode of Medici containing a tragic death which am not expecting. Have a cry. Tomorrow Lorenzo will die. Have been researching his medical history and it turns out that he had acromegaly and arthralgia and died aged forty two.
Haven’t seen Fluffball much today. Will go and look for him after I’ve posted this.
Happy Monday everyone!
*2003. By Susan Howatch. Novel set in the City of London.
Heavy snow this morning, which is exciting. It falls in huge clumps.
Fluffball goes out in it. Here is a photo taken by Mum:
Gandalf’s owner brings him round to see us. Kiss him and cuddle him. He loves the snow:
Read my Martin Amis book Inside Story. It’s jolly good: an autobiographical novel with tips on how to write. Can’t wait to return to it in a minute.
Mum sorts out some old sheets and towels to give to the local RSPCA animal shelter where they need them for the animals.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep. Watch an episode of Medici: there is a Murder. Can’t imagine enjoying another series This Much.
Will have plenty of time to read tomorrow at chemo so I’m looking forward to that. If we can get there in the snow that is.
Happy Saturday everyone!
*2019. By Ross Greenwood. Crime fiction thriller.
Still waiting for my last Susan Howatch novel The Heartbreaker so I start the new Martin Amis – Inside Story. It’s apparently an autobiographical novel and a book on How To Write so I’m bound to enjoy it: my favourite work of his – Experience – is a Memoir. The cover photo is of Amis and his best friend Christopher Hitchens. I was lucky enough to hear them talking together at Jewish Book Week before Hitch’s death and they were just wonderful.
We’re expecting Heavy Snow overnight or tomorrow. Am looking forward to it.
Work hard at Barre this morning – we all wear our leopard 🐆 print leggings: we do have fun.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep. Wake up and have coffee ☕️, melon 🍈 and pineapple 🍍. Watch an episode of Medici – it really is the best series – I’m going to be so sad when we finish it.
Mum helps me with my bath 🛀: I’m not well enough to manage a bath on my own anymore. The back pain in my cancerous spine is Bad today so I have two extra doses of morphine.
Tonight we are having artichokes, bread and cheese for supper and then watching The Graduate which Dad recorded last night.
Fluffball goes out this morning but doesn’t stay out in the cold for long: he’s sleeping on the black sofa at the moment.
Happy Saturday everyone!
*2020. By Martin Amis. Autobiographical novel.
It’s been a baking frenzy here over the last couple of days. Dad makes some soda bread:
Mum makes an apple and pear cake:
I have a piece of it:
And an apple and blackberry cake:
Finish The High Flyer which is so brilliant.
Another book arrives for my Symbolic Doorways: Astrology And Intuition course:
Work hard at Personal Training yesterday and consequently have sore glutes and shoulders this morning at Pilates.
Go to the cancer hospital 🏥 for my COVID-19 and pre-chemo blood 🩸 tests.
Have lunch, meditate and sleep. Watch Medici – it’s an emotional episode and have a cry. Soon the series will be finished. We need something to watch that is historical and dynastic. We are going to start with Reign which is about Mary Queen of Scots at the French court and has seventy eight episodes so it should keep us going for a bit. Any other suggestions?
My American cousins are able to buy In Bloom at Barnes & Noble. Here it’s on Amazon Kindle and the paperback is at Waterstones, ukbookshop.org and The Hive – where it says it’s Out Of Stock but you just add it to your basket. Please write a five star ⭐️ review of the book on Amazon and Goodreads: it will really help it.
Fluffball goes out to sit on his favourite spot: under the little table staring at the rockery. He doesn’t stay out for long.
Happy Friday everyone!
*1995. By Anthony Stevens. Book about dream interpretation.