Sunday, 19 July 2015

As promised.....normal service resumes!

I don't think it would be right to start this post without saying a huge Thank You to all of you - and there were so many - who have left comments, sent messages, emails, cards and so on.  I can't tell you how much it has meant to me - and to Danny - to know just how much love, prayers, thoughts and support are being sent our way.

But let's get on with what we did manage to do during the "missing" months.  I mean, besides going back and forth to various doctors, clinics and hospitals!

There's actually quite a bit to say!  So in this update I'll keep it to what happened during May and June then follow it up in a day or so with July!

Well, of course the worst of those two months was the waiting for the results of each test and neither Danny nor I could settle to anything major.  So work on the lounge was abandoned; Danny couldn't focus on the painting and I couldn't muster up the concentration to start making the curtains.  In those early weeks we just about kept on top of what had to be done.  But for some reason, I was able to lose myself in some smaller sewing projects, perhaps because they weren't too daunting or even 'important'. Now when I look at the following two photos, I am pleasantly surprised at the results. The first photo is of the curtains I made for our bedroom.

Knowing that when it came to doing the lounge curtains they would have to look pretty good, I made the bedroom ones as a kind of prototype!  I have never made these eyelet headed curtains before and I am rather pleased with the outcome.

The second photo is of "curtains" I made to go round the vanity unit in the bathroom.  There was a lot of fabric left from what Sarah used to make the Roman blind in there (actually, there is still a lot left over - my measurements couldn't have been very accurate!) so I decided to make these..

The weeks went by and the trip we'd booked months previously to go camping at a VW show in the UK came around.  The timing was tricky as I was waiting for the crucial result of the biopsy.  But, we made the decision to go ahead with the trip for a number of reasons, not least that it would be a good distraction.  We made it knowing that good news would wait and bad news wouldn't improve with waiting!

We spent an afternoon getting the camper and all the paraphernalia we take cleaned and ready.   I was trusted to use the pressure washer to get things clean....

 ......while Danny did important things like making sure we had enough drinks for the weekend.....!

We set off in the camper for Caen, leaving our home and animals in the good care of friends who are also house-sitters. The journey, in beautiful sunshine, was uneventful, unlike last year's debacle! Getting to Caen early for our overnight crossing, we were able to check in and park the camper in a queue and go off to have dinner.

Danny quickly got into the holiday mood as we sat and enjoyed a meal - and a beer - in the beautiful early evening sunshine...

But.... no sooner had we gone back to the ferry terminal, the sky darkened over and the biggest thunderstorm started.  And continued for hours with torrential rain pouring down!  (It was quite scary!  So much so that I bought some travel sickness pills, just in case...!)  I'm not sure if this photo really captures how bad it was but hopefully you'll get some idea....

Fortunately, the crossing was fine and we got to Portsmouth without incident.  Unfortunately, the same can't be said of our journey from Portsmouth into Essex where we were meeting up with Danny's sons, Paul and Joe and all the rest of our camping party!  I have to shoulder some of the blame because I dozed off and Danny, left to navigate on his own, missed the turn off for the M25!  When I awoke after a pleasant snooze, Danny told me something had gone wrong and we were 'somehow' in South London! Eventually, with the help of Joe and our SatNav we made it successfully to Joe's house and then on to Jimmy's Farm just outside Ipswich, where the VW Show was held.

This year, in our convoy, we had not just Joe's Beetle but Paul now has one too.  Here are the Cleavely family classic VWs on show...!

We had a good time but the weekend was a wee bit spoilt by the weather - at best it drizzled and at worst it rained for most of the weekend!  But there are lots of good things about these weekends, things the weather can't spoil.  Like seeing all the little 'uns in our group enjoying themselves, being able to sit around just chatting and enjoying each other's company and making new friends.  I think these few photos sum it up....

We only stayed in the UK for a couple of days after the weekend, long enough to have the camper checked over and see a few more people.  Unfortunately, there is never enough time to see everyone we'd like to see.

Shortly after we got back, we got two kittens to add to our menagerie!  We had arranged to have them before my health nightmare started but, as we are determined to live life as normally as possible, changing as little as possible, we decided not to change our plans.  So Micky, a pale ginger and white tomcat and Smoggy, a grey female are now part of our family.  It was the right decision because they have been a delight and a distraction!  It's hard not to laugh when you have kittens in the house! Already we have dozens of photos of them but just so those of you who haven't seen them yet can do so, here's what they looked like when we first had them....

 They just love Danny's laptop!

Now, I'm going to leave you with another addition to the Cleavely household.  Meet Robert the Robot (as named by Danny - honest!).  

He's a labour saving device which, in the absence of a hunky pool-boy, cleans the pool for us! He sometimes needs a little shove to get him moving again but otherwise is a great gadget!

I hope you've enjoyed reading this update and I will be back in a few days to let you know what's been happening so far in July!

À bientôt


  1. Another great blog and what a surprise to hear that it was raining in Blighty for your weekend. Actually I love that as it reinforces the reasons that we chose to live in SW France.
    You are a remarkable lady and your strength shines through Roz in every sentence.
    Pleased Robert is behaving himself, I still have a pool boy, but he's not bad and does the job!
    Take great care of yourselves and enjoy your ongoing project and kittens. x

  2. Glad that you are managing to get on with life but I am sure in the back of your mind you are still worried about health problems.
    We had those pool gadgets years ago in Africa, they were then called Kreepy Kraulys and as far as I know they are still the most well known make there. They make life so much easier. Just look after yourself and be positive which it sounds as if you are. Diane x