Archives for posts with tag: daughter

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“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I decided when having coffee with a friend earlier this year as she talked about the summer holiday she had just booked in Spain that I’d had enough of giving into to my Cancer and letting it hold me back it was my turn. As much as I have had some great holidays in the UK, this year no more unreliable weather, no caravans, no self-catering packing the car full with half the house, we needed to travel further than the UK, somewhere hot. Our weekend away in Whitstable staying in a gorgeous chalet on Seasalter beach turns out gave us just the taste we needed we had managed to book one of very few heatwave weekends this year, sitting on our deck with friends overlooking the beach into the warm evening, watching the sunset with a bbq for our dinner we needed more of this. Last time I went abroad on holiday my daughter was 8 months old she is now 12, years of not being allowed to fly due to treatments and higher risks of complications from Breast Cancer has taken its toll. I’d like a Facebook worthy foreign holiday, proud to show off my photos of gorgeous sunsets, sunshine, warm evenings, eating outside, relaxing in the pool. Something about making wonderful memories and a luxurious treat and true escape from all the dramas and stresses in my life back in the UK.

“Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved”

Winnie the Pooh

This year I have been lucky to start the clinical trial my oncologist spent all last year fighting for, its a new type of gene therapy called a parp inhibitor targeted at those with a double positive secondary Breast Cancer and BRCA2 mutation. It has different side effects to the other chemotherapy drugs I’ve taken, I am still high risk of blood clots like previous drug treatments but not quite as much, flying now more an option than previously.  CT Scans have so far remained stable so this gave me the green light I needed, time to hit the internet. Where to go was easy I’ve had a wish list for years, so I booked myself and my daughter 10 days in a gorgeous hotel in Croatia, staying in Rovinj, a place one of the school mums has been recommending for literally years and top of my list.

I started from scratch, with nothing for a holiday abroad, if it still fitted it was horribly dated, or it had disintegrated to dust in the loft not being used for so long.  I started with a new smart suitcase with four wheels, then a pair of shorts, sandals, beach towel, and off to Superdrug to buy a factor 30, 50 sun tan cream, an aftersun, job done, or so I thought! I discovered the sunscreen, ‘Chemical or Mineral?’ debate. Having Cancer has made me far more aware of the ingredients in products and the affects they can have on your body, I try to avoid synthetic chemicals where I can and go organic, gradually replacing my shampoo, soap, washing up liquid and I now buy organic milk.  It seems the contents of sunscreen are now being questioned too the subject is even more complicated than finding a flattering Bikini?? Controversial ingredients such as avobenzone and oxybenzone a synthetic oestrogen that penetrates the skin and can disrupt the hormone system, a definite no for me.

Factor 50 is always difficult to apply, the Mineral sunscreen, described as a more natural solution with safer content such as titanium dioxide, was no exception it went on like white tar! looking like a ghost, is not a good look. Chemical sunscreen felt more familiar, easier to apply, safer somehow but the ingredients are a bit alarming and I can’t afford to take any risks, especially judging by the bottles of it I would be covered in on holiday. I opted for a slightly more expensive compromise, a Paraben Free, Broad Spectrum which ensures high UVA and UVB cover, Chemical sunscreen. Turns out even using my overly researched high factor sunscreen the skin on my arm still developed an allergic reaction to the sun, just in case for a few moments on holiday I forgot about the C word. Add in the very attractive surgical stockings for our flight in a slightly forgiving nude colour and all the ‘just in case‘ clothes, medication and the hair straighteners my daughter cannot survive a day without and my suitcase was full.

The alarm went off at silly o clock and we fell out of bed into my dads car with our cases for the airport even blurry eyes I still had room for a little adrenaline. The security guards face when he opened my hand luggage at the airport security was priceless he would of been less shocked to see a large meat cleaver. Morphine.. injections.. boxes of tablets filling most of my rucksack the poor guy didn’t know where to look 😂😂 when I showed him my Oncologists letter and explained I had Cancer in my spine he closed the rucksack hurriedly to make a nice joke about my face looking better without my hat. There are few advantages in my world but not having to stand in airport queues was a good one to discover.

A short flight and that moment soon came when the plane doors opened and the heat hit our faces and we knew our holiday had started, it’s silly but its a feel I have dreamed about a long time. Sitting in the back of our taxi heading for our hotel driving down wider emptier motorways with different language signs above our heads, looking out the window at the Croatian countryside and local buildings, the roads lined with mediterranean ‘Oleander‘ bushes covered in hot pink flowers. We were all ready to discover our new home for the next ten days.

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Cancer wasn’t too much of an issue on holiday, mainly because I didn’t do much, the heatwave ensuring we did less during the day and relaxed. It mean’t more taxis than usual, laying on a sunbed with our ice creams and soaking in the sun, enjoying the warm crystal clear sea, not cooking a single meal or having to think about chores, looking at gorgeous sunsets and no hospital appointments, it was definitely what the doctored ordered. It was not a sandy beach but us and many others had come fully prepared with our aqua shoes, great for my daughter who has now decided on a phobia of anything in the sea. The hotel was excellent, scenery stunning and food gorgeous, grilled fish, fresh pizzas and not an english fry up in sight, we took pictures of it all even the funny moth with bunny ears on our hotel room wall. My daughter happily spent as much time as she could in the pool with her new gang of German and Croatian friends and the Primark flamingo which it turns out has travelled very well this summer on many other family holidays along with its Unicorn cousin. I read my book under the huge trees that surrounded our pool part of the 100 year old pine forest next door.. Rovinj is a beautiful place, only a handful of hotels along the large bay front surrounded by the forest discovered by walking along the limestone tiled promenade past the marina and on to the old town which sits at the end of the bay on a mount of its own topped by the Clock Tower. Walking in the evening through the cobbled streets of the old town in and out of the independent gift shops for my daughter to spend her pocket money was just how it should be.

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A record heatwave with temperatures of 42 degrees last seen in 1981 ensured drama found us even on holiday, getting off the ferry from Katarina Island back in Rovinj there was a little lightning in the distance. Within a few minutes of our feet touching the ground strong winds suddenly arrived, and we saw the locals running down the street, we did the same and quickly fell into the nearest restaurant as an intense tropical storm hit, hurricane strength winds and rain battered and flooded the restaurant for about 45 mins. Like a scene from the Wizard of Oz we expected to come back up the stairs from our hiding place to see the restaurant gone. Scattered chairs, trees down, branches all over the promenade the heatwave had broken. Returning to our hotel we arrived to pick up my daughters bikini and find my shirt on the floor blown down by the storm from our fourth floor balcony, left there to dry out in the sun…

Laying back in my own bed happily shattered the holiday was over so quickly I could easily have dreamt it all. Our first morning back and torrential rain hits the windows outside and we know we are back in the uk. We had an amazing time and it was a much needed break from our everyday life and cancer treatments for both myself and my daughter to spend time together. Appreciating every small part so much more because it has been denied to us for so long and making amazing memories is so important.

We have some great times to remember and fantastic photos which of course my daughter will claim responsibility for even though a lot she appears to star in. Over 60 likes and several lovely comments on Facebook, and that completes mission holiday sun until next year

I hope you’ve all had a great summer too

Lots of Love

Angela

xx

 

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Christmas is done for another year and everyone has gone home, elf has returned and my daughter is now taking full advantage of late to bed and late up.  Six recycling sacks sit in the hallway, I have done the washing up and I’ve moved stuff around the house. Despite my oven blowing up 2 days before Christmas and realising I had 1 teabag left on the morning we pulled it off! The tree, the elf, crackers, turkey, presents, Christmas pudding and party games all get a big tick! My daughter gave me the most loving and thoughtful card I’ve ever had and I’m super pleased with my gorgeous girlfriend one with lots of kisses. The full vision of Christmas was enjoyed as planned.

A friend’s daughter asked for donations of hats and gloves before Christmas so she could hand them out to the homeless in London, inspired by this thoughtful gesture we went yesterday to drop off the food we have also been collecting every week in our food shop to the food bank along with some Christmas goodies we didn’t use for someone else to enjoy. Its just as nice to give as to receive this time of year and is always so gratefully received. Christmas heightens all your feelings, some of those deep personal feelings from present and past have a way of creeping to the surface when we hit post party after Boxing Day. This is because we care and it’s what makes us human, no ones life is perfect but we love it anyway.

I have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. Salvador Dali, Artist and Writer.

Our cupboards are also far from perfect so the January clear out has started early I have filled 5 black sacks just from my daughters room, the advantage of turning ten is she is now too cool for princess outfits and her toys cars,  Topsy and Tim and the Rainbow Fairies have made the cut too. I feel a bit sad remembering her playing with these but 10 is the new 13 we are now making room for the lava lamp, fur coat, knee high heeled boots and make up, she has now after all these years started to discover brand culture, although thankfully lego is still a brand she loves.

After all the indulges of Christmas I have had a few false starts on the detox and health campaign and tonight is New Year’s Eve! I need to stop living on tree chocolates, left over turkey and biscuit selections! This one will have to wait a day though and be a proper New Year’s resolution along with the rest of the country. Mary Portas showed us last night what we have bought this year and yes I have my ‘Deliciously Ella’ cookbook of healthy recipes and now need to update my wardrobe with trendy athleisurewear, my daughter also wants a spiralizer for our vegetables. This has made me think, here are just a few of my discoveries from this year:

  • Give up trying to get my daughter in to bed by 8.30pm.
  • Loom bands are out.
  • Forget normal TV Amazon prime and Netflix is the way to go.. I highly recommend outlander, hunger games and suits.
  • Say yes more.
  • It’s ok to be nice.
  • Everybody should have someone that makes them feel special.
  • Sit down and relax you will feel better for it.
  • Going out to dinner is not good for the waistline.
  • You can run most of your life from bed on your iPhone and it takes better images than your camera.
  • Less butter less sugar… Apple juice is very bad.
  • Life is about balance, good and bad come in equal measure if one is more than the other something will correct this.
  • A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other…

I lay here at 10am in bed writing with my cat purring on top of me, tomorrow is the start of a New Year and we are in a totally different place now. It’s been a tough one to navigate and I have seen new heights and lows in love, motherhood and friendships this year. There have been a few spanners in the works I didn’t expect but they have confirmed how lucky I am to be loved by those around me which I will always be grateful for this. I get it now love conquers all

Thank you and enjoy your adventures next year… I wish everyone a loving and fabulous 2016 and here is a quote from a guilty pleasure, one of several Christmas films I’ve watched:

You have a brain in your head, and feet in your shoes, so go ahead and seek, whatever direction you chose! Chalet Girl 2011

So from your Writer, Designer, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Gorgeous girlfriend, Best friend, Teenage PA, Cook, Shopper, Cleaner, Decorator, talks too much, should exercise more, must do the washing up and so on again next year… Love always xx

 

 

 

 

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Traffic Light Tree is a public sculpture in London, England, created by the French sculptor Pierre Vivant. The Sculpture imitates the natural landscape of the adjacent London Plane Trees, while the changing pattern of the lights reveals and reflects the never ending rhythm of the surrounding domestic, financial and commercial activities.

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least, for both myself and my daughter, its been a steep learning curving finding out how we feel, seeing how we should feel and deciding how we want to feel. We’ve cried, laughed and loved more than we have ever done, this has brought us closer but also created more tense times. Surrounding influences have made our relationship more complicated now but also stronger, we both get things wrong and learn as we go along.

There is a lot going on in our life these days, what affect will this have, I don’t know yet? Our life is not what we expected, but I have no doubt that these changing patterns are the right ones and we are going in a more positive direction. She is definitely developing a strength of character beyond her years but is still only ten and has many emotions she does not understand, not to mention the tidal wave of hormones that have conveniently decided to turn up around the same time. She now has a much sharper sense of wit, improved sarcasm, stronger attitude and greater awareness of life around her, she now expresses her love and emotions much more clearly if not always in my favour!! My girl is growing up and like probably all mums out there I was totally unprepared, these things seem to turn up when you take your eye off the ball for a moment.

The funny thing is as my daughter struggles with her emotions I’ve realised how little I have dealt with my own over the past few years, its too easy to get on with everyday life, and put your thoughts to the back of your mind. Some strong emotions have been in our house in the past, not all great ones. Throughout this process my character has also regained its confidence and clarity, I am very proud to say with the added title of embarrassing mother! Not to mention annoying one too, followed by much amusement on my part, especially when she gives me ‘the look’ I am happy knowing I am doing my job properly…

This all being said… to my daughter you still have to make your bed in the morning, go to bed on time, pick up your dirty clothes off the floor etc, you won’t like it but one day you will thank me! (forgive the turning into my mother quote).

In the last year old relationships have finished, new ones have started and existing one have strengthened, not a straightforward process to navigate, it feels like my life has had a good spring clean this year but this has been followed by a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I love those close to me with all my heart and am happy to show it as I know I am loved in return and confident that those few tense times are because we all care and they are a learning process about each other. You have shown me this develops a stronger relationship and deeper understanding of each other, just love me like you do…

Like the lights in the above installation our life’s are a constant changing pattern reflecting the never ending rhythm of our surrounding influences. I’m ready….

 

Bob Hoskins life lessons relevant to us all…

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Quite often my blog is written about my own experiences, thoughts and opinions. However sometimes you come across the words of another which touch your life and relate to your world so much you would like to also share them. Particularly the ‘life lessons’ written by the late Bob Hoskins to his daughter which she has shared on Twitter/Facebook in the last few days. I lost my mum at the age of 21 to Breast Cancer and to this day I carry her words and love with me and appreciate every bit.

My daughter is now 8 and I feel my most important job as a parent is to encourage her to become a happy, confident, independent young girl hopefully ‘lady’ but if she takes after her mother this may be an ambition too far! Trying the best that I can to set a good example, I think 80% of the time is probably a good realistic aim…

Here are a few of Bob Hoskins words that touched me,”words spoke so often to encourage, comfort and reassure”:

Laugh. There’s humour to be found everywhere, even your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about.

Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you they’re either stupid, blind, or they’ve got bad taste. Accept who you are, you’ve got no one else to be.

Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Everyone’s a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it.

Whatever you do, always give it a good go. Don’t be afraid of failure and disappointment.

Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what your up against.

Love with all your heart. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

The full text is available on HauteHoskins.com

Too often we get wrapped up in life and its worries, until events in our personal lives make us realise what is really important.. to love others, ourselves and feel loved…

 

Help! I'm a stay-at-home mum

Be inspired, fulfilled and hold your heads high, stay-at-home mums!

ovaryandout

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!

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