Slight Change of Plan ……

Slight Change of Plan ……!

In the words of Rene in the comedy ‘allo, allo,’ “I will say zis only once.”  There has occurred a slight change of plan!

When I wrote the post, ‘What’s happening here in 2014’, I was looking forward to a year of change.  Of building a fabulous garden room adjoining the house, researching and planning all the interiors.  Of working like a ‘navvy’ in the main garden and what will be our kitchen garden, digging, lugging the sack barrow from one end to the other to strategically place my many plants in pots.  Of more dreaming and researching appliances and fitted kitchens for my brand new kitchen.  And, the most special dream, seeing a lot more of my 5 gorgeous grandchildren (not forgetting their parents).

But strange how things can change in a terrifying second.  Ask family about me, and they will say “Picture of health.”  “Rosy cheeked.”  “Hardly ever ill.”  And so it has been, for most of my life.  The odd ‘niggle’.  Recently ‘creaky bones when it’s damp’.  Just that sort of thing.

But just a few days after Christmas, I felt uncomfortable and thought I had a big spot under my arm.  Then found a lump.  We managed to get an appointment with our doctor on, of all days, New Year’s Eve!  (Note to self: good time to see a doctor – everyone is having nails and hair done on New Year’s Eve, so no-one else goes to the doctor!)

The doctor checked me over and found another lump, so marking me as ‘Urgent’, she arranged a very quick appointment for me at what is our Centre of Excellence hospital in East Yorkshire, Castle Hill Hospital.  An amazing hospital – Erik and I couldn’t believe how sensitively I was treated and how quietly organised it was.  Not too much waiting in-between doctors, scans and biopsies (absolutely painless).  The nurses were all ‘angels’ and before long I was out of there with my next appointment fixed, when I would find out about the results.  I think the worst thing is the waiting, the ‘not being sure’.

Two weeks later, a young but very knowledgeable lady doctor gave me the news that I had already suspected – Breast Cancer.  I was trying to concentrate so much on what she was telling me – luckily Erik was with me so that our combined two brains could listen and get the facts straight.  My appointed nurse rang me two days later, as arranged, because they believe that, as a patient, you leave the hospital with your head spinning with half -understood facts and that you realise you didn’t ask certain questions, or didn’t understand what was said.  So we had a chat, and I asked her the questions I had forgotten to ask, and she cleared up a few facts for me, in such a friendly way. It really is a brilliant system for patients. And the end result is that within weeks I will start Chemotherapy (a sort of cocktail of drugs, tailored exactly to work best with my type of tumours) , with a view to them shrinking, so that if all goes well, I will have a (hopefully) small operation.

So the reason I am writing this is that if you wonder why we are not building our extension this year, or if I get a bit ‘dippy’, or sound confused (or even more confused than usual), you will bear with me.  My life is going on, in between whatever happens with the Chemo.  I  am going to treat it as a friend, who is trying to get me better, even if that friend makes me sick, or takes my hair away.  Stupidly, the vain woman that I am, is the fact that I will probably lose my long, curly eyelashes for a while. OK, I will save a fortune on Mascara, but hopefully they come back even better.

And I am incredibly lucky to have Erik, who is so supportive, and is having his own ‘food adventure’ by researching and experimenting with the most amazing fruit and vegetable Juice recipes, bursting with vitamins and minerals, and targeted at healing and helping specific health problems.  So far we’ve had wonderful fruity concoctions that taste brilliant, and his latest juice, a mixture of spinach, kale, ginger and I think lemon and other ingredients, looked so very green and strange but tasted amazingly good.  More about Juicing is coming up on our blog.

Through the Arc
Through the Arch
(My Sanctuary)

Just one more thing.  Moving from our big house was traumatic and a bit sad.  But now, in our lovely little house and big garden, I have a sanctuary.  Whether gazing out of my lounge or bedroom window, and looking down the garden, through the archway, I feel a sense of comfort, peace and a place of sanctuary.

Part of our garden.
A small part of the garden.

Watching the birds, big and little, twittering and hopping about in and out of the hedges and bird feeder, watching the sunrise and sunset filtering through the twiggy branches of our trees – all of this gives me a deep contentment.  And when I start my treatment, I have to stay away from crowds of people, to avoid infection,  so how lucky am I to have a very private and very big garden – to just look at and enjoy on the ‘bad’ days, and to get out there  on the ‘good’ days in my ‘wellies’ and garden gloves to plant, weed and pick lots of lovely flowers and healthy fruit and vegetables.

So, what will this slight change of plan mean for the blog?

It means that whenever I am feeling well enough to write, I will do so.  But not about my problem . Enough said.

And Erik will write more – now, he’s a real writer!!   But we will have:

Lots  and lots more Recipes!  Including our favourite Juice Recipes!

Lots of research on Greenhouses and cold frames.

Lots more on growing Fruit and Vegetables – I will use the good days to plant salads, courgettes, lovage, artichokes, aubergines, herbs, tomatoes, broad beans, runner beans and lots of fruit.

Lots about shrubs, and flowers (particularly flowers to attract bees).

Lots more about Range Cookers – my shortlist for now.

Lots more about planning my new Dream Kitchen (and also planning a Bathroom).

Lots about Paint, Interiors, Furniture (we have a whole house to do!!)

Lots more about our Garden Room extension (even though it has been put on hold for this year).

So, although we have a ‘slight change of plan’, that may give me a massive amount of time to read, research and relish trawling through old recipe books (I love the history of food), finding amazing kitchen appliances and getting gently back into enjoying a Kitchen Garden, and soon it will be time to light up our Wood-fired oven to taste once again a’ proper’ pizza or a Crispy-Skinned Roast Chicken, flavoured with lemon and oregano.

Making myself hungry again!!


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