Kate's Blog

Follow me if you will as I try to navigate through the ups and downs of my world.

I'm writing this blog to help me make sense of all that has happened - from my diagnosis with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while pregnant with my third child in May 2008
, through to my reflections on chaotic family life as I try to pick up the pieces of my life again.

The kids are so small, and I'm working hard to keep us all safe and to stay in remission.

Stay with me - it won't be all doom and gloom I promise!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Back to School

Back home again after a VERY busy week. The kids had a lovely time - lots of beach stuff and lots of gettting wet, accompanied by their cousin whom they adore.

And I'm back to making packed lunches, ironing, shopping etc etc.

Hattie has been demonic all week partly because she was too excited to sleep in the afternoons, and she certainly needs her sleep!! Thank heavens she's settled to sleep this afternoon. I couldn't manage without my hour or so while she sleeps.

No news yet with the book I've sent off - but maybe no news is good news. Oh, and Rog is back from the States - with a hideous soft toy purple monkey for Hattie, lovely PJs for Martha and a model Corvette for Ed. All are delighted.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Half Term Holidays and Winter Ice Cream

Brrr. It's cold today. I'm heading off to an ice cream parlour of all strange things, once the kids have finished school. Not quite the place to visit that springs to mind in the middle of an English winter but, hey, why not? We're meeting a friend and her children to celebrate the end of the first half term of the year.

And the kids are off school next week so we're heading to mum's pub on the coast for a week. Well, the kids and I are anyhow; Rog is off to Washington DC taking some students to see the sights. Jealous me? No........

I'm expecting a large, shiny present all the way from the States.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Awards, awards, awards

Well, thanks so much Jen at Jennerally Speaking for my lovely award.

In return I have to tell you seven things about myself that you might not know. The problem is with this is that if you've been following me for a while, you probably do know much of what makes me tick. But here goes:

1. I swam naked in the Adriatic Sea with my first boyfriend, aged 18. And my clothes were stolen.

2. I love tulips and daffoldils - and have bunches of them in my kitchen as often as possible.

3. I adore anchovies and would eat them with pretty much anything - on their own if necessary.

4. One of my all-time favourite actresses is Judi Dench.

5. I have a big birthmark on my shin.

6. I would love to run a bookshop with a fabulous cafe selling carrot-cake - and will one day when money is not an concern (ha ha)- so I don't have to worry about competing with Amazon and Kindles.

7. I am planning a huge 45th birthday party in three years time to celebrate achieving five years in remission. And Rog and I will head to Mauritius to bask in the sun.

And now I have to pass this award on to 7 of my favourite blogs. But I'm going to pass it on to 9. Call me crazy! Some of these I've given awards to in the past - but they remain my favourites and if you're a new follower of mine, I'm generously sharing the delight. Enjoy.

Legend in his own lunchtime

Letters to the World

Life of Riles

Older mums are fun

Uno, dos, tracey

Fruit of the Carolyn

Diary of a Desperate Exmoor Woman

I don't have an attitude problem

How to Survive life in the Suburbs

Phew! It's hard work this awards business. Imagine how stressful getting a BAFTA would be.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Finally Free From Freedom....

Ok, so finally I've finished 'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen. And in the end I liked it. It's a very impressive book, a very intellectual book - still charmless in some ways though. I found it very hard to feel close to the characters although I was interested in them from start to finish. I think it's a very male book - I wonder if that is where the sense of distance lies, and I don't mean that in a frivolous way.

But imagine writing a book like that. Incredible.

I'm sending my book off to some agents tommorrow - fingers crossed.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Blackberrys and Freedom

How can upgrading your phone (to a Blackberry - whoo whoo) be so incredibly difficult? I've spent a very frustrating morning - yes MORNING! - conversing with Vodafone. I did take Hattie to the park to feed the ducks when it all got too much.

I've got my writing class tonight, so I must go to prepare the tea for later. Will the babysitter manage to give the kids tea when I walk out of the door at 4.45? I hope so.....

And now, although I have LOTS to do, Hattie's asleep and I think I'll make a cup of tea and read Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom". I've been reading it since Christmas at about the rate of a bloody page a night, just as I'm dropping off. It's a very frustrating way to read indeed. Actually, despite the rave reviews I'm not sure how much I'm enjoying it. While it certainly doesn't help any book to be read so slowly, I am finding it a rather charmless read. Considering I love reading like nothing else and considering I have so little time to do it, it's frustrating to read a book which doesn't delight. On the other hand I'm three quarters of the way through it - stopping now would be frustrating too. Has anyone else read it? What did you think of it?

Sunday, 6 February 2011


I'm waiting for my chicken with green olives to cook. And while I do - blocking out the shrieks from the children fighting in the other room - I'm sitting down for the first time today.

Up early, having had Ed coming in and out of our room through the night telling us he couldn't sleep; the pouring rain punctuating my early morning sleep. To the park DESPITE the pouring rain to imbibe a little fresh air. And then back home. To the supermarket for a quick shop and then home in time put on a loaf of bread to cook in trusty breadmaker and to make promised biscuits with Martha in honour of our friend coming for the afternoon.

Said biscuits made and quickly consumed through the afternoon mostly by Ed, while my friend and I attempted to catch up through the cacophony of Ed, Martha and Hattie 'playing' (read 'showing off').

Friend leaves for the peace of her house and I start to make chicken and green olive casserole (yum I hope). I stack the dishwasher, get lovely loaf out of the bread machine and peel the potatoes for mash.

It's not even half past five yet. I'm exhausted and there's still the delightful bedtime routine and the ironing of the shirts and uniform. What the hell happened to lazily reading the Sunday papers and actually having a REST? Having kids happened - that's what.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Acupuncture Ahead

Today I had acupuncture in my lower back and legs to try to relieve the awful nerve pains I have down my legs at night. It's been going on for the past couple of years, is getting worse and is really starting to disturb my sleep. I have a suspicion that this is a legacy of the chemotherapy - but whatever it is, I need to sort it unless I am going to spend my whole time taking painkillers.

The acupuncture was strangely relaxing (once I'd got over having to remove my jeans in front of the handsome, young physiotherapist). In fact I didn't really get over that but I just blocked out the vision I had of myself lying prone on my stomach with pins sticking out of me. I talked quite a lot.... possibly in an attempt to distract him. But I do have tremendous faith in acupuncture - I've had it before - so fingers crossed.

It's disappointing being (nearly) 42 and not in supermodel shape. Still - I haven't forgotten my pilates resolution, so I'm sure a hot bod is just around the corner.

And I wrote the first draft of my children's picture book yesterday. I'm pleased with it but I WISH I could draw. I can exactly see how I want the pictures to be, but I can't draw them. GRRRR!