Health and well being, Uncategorized

The Organ Recital


This post links in with my last one concerning health and well being but with a different twist.

I have just finished reading “Midwinter Break” by Bernard Maclaverty, a thoughtful tale of a middle aged couple taking a winter break in Amsterdam. We get to see past events from their long relationship from both their view points and to understand the ups and downs that are an inevitable part of any long standing relationship. At one point they mention the ‘Ailment Hour’, an hour set aside each day, usually after breakfast when they discuss their current ailments, diagnosis, recovery or what step to take next. I found this amusing as I recognised only too well the aches and pains they refer to. The author then highlights another couple who treat their aging ailments in the same way but refer to the time spent as the ‘Organ Recital’ and this made me chuckle aloud.

Some months ago we spent a weekend away with two friends whom we know very well and couldn’t help laughing as we all arrived at the breakfast table and brought out our bottles and packets of tablets and pills. Some were most definitely needed, medication for diabetes for one and an iron deficiency for another but we also had a wide array of vitamins and mineral supplements, glucosamine and turmeric. We are all getting sucked in to the belief that some or all of these ‘magic’ ingredients will ease the ache and stiffness of our joints as they grow older, that a full dose of Vitamin B will stave off memory loss and on it goes. I am not criticising myself or our our friends for taking these supplements, they may well help and almost certainly are doing us no harm, what I am questioning is the validity of all these aches and twinges. Are they serious? or do we just notice them because we have the time to do so?

I consider myself to be a busy and active older person, I spend time with my grandchildren, volunteer at the library, attend Tai Chi class and walk almost every day for a few miles or more, do my own housework, read and write, cook and enjoy trips out to cinema and theatre, but I cannot escape the fact that I have more head time than when I was working in a full time professional capacity. If I had to jump out of bed at 6.30 am and rush through an early morning routine and head off to work I wouldn’t have time to wonder about the ache in my right hip or to check on the knee twinge I felt walking yesterday. I am not trying to discount the genuine illnesses that come along with age to many unfortunate people, the pain of arthritis, the ache of rheumatism are all too real but I have noticed that when I have a grandchild to stay for a few days and my hours are packed with activity I rarely notice any twinges.

As a dear friend once commented, ‘The good thing about getting older is that this week’s ache or pain appears and takes all your concentration, so allowing last week’s ailment to fade into the background.’

So I am determined to give my twinges less thinking time, to cram all the cares and concerns about my physical health in to the Organ Recital and do my best to banish any stray thoughts that may appear outside the appointed time. My Father , who will be 94 in April has the view that if your body seems to be working OK when you wake up, then get up and face the day with gratitude and this seems like a good attitude to me especially when I am lucky enough to have good health apart from those occasional twinges. Now all I have to do is master my thoughts!

mental health, Philosophy, Uncategorized

In sickness and in health


As I sit at my computer today to write this Blog two friends of mine are going through one of life’s hardest experiences. Both in their early sixties and having long looked forward to a happy retirement and more time spent with their little grandson, Bob ( I have changed their names) is currently on the operating table having a cancerous tumour removed from his oesophagus, along with healthy surrounding tissue while Sally waits anxiously, pacing corridors and drinking endless cups of cold coffee or stewed tea. Having received a diagnosis last year Bob has spent many months undergoing chemotherapy treatment to shrink the tumour before surgery and whilst the operation gives him a good chance of more years he will never again be able to eat in the normal way. I am not aware of the total picture as he goes forward but imagine he will be restricted both in amount and type of food and will most probably be facing a diet of pureed food for the remainder of his life.

Bob and Sally have been married for many years and I know that the journey has not always been an easy one but facing this major hurdle has brought them closer together again and Sally has been an absolute rock for her husband to lean on. This is one of those moments in life when we truly see the calibre of people, their responses to hard times and difficult issues tell us so much more about them than all the shared good times and fun days out. They have been showered with love and support, offers of help and kind words but ultimately this is a battle which they have to fight together and all we as friends can do is to offer both emotional and practical help. They are in our thoughts today.

The situation made me ponder this morning on marriage and those promises we make and certainly if we marry in our twenties or thirties the times of struggle and illness seem a far distant thing although disease, redundancy and even death can strike at any age. When you marry late in life as my husband and I did, you do it with eyes wide open and an implicit understanding of what may be to come. We knew that we would be extremely fortunate to sail through our older years with no ailments and already there are times when we have to accommodate each other’s weak areas: he has type 2 Diabetes and now some tinnitus in the right ear, I have bouts of sciatica and have to watch my right hip but those things apart we are still in good health, we enjoy our food and a glass of wine, we walk almost every day, often many miles with few ill effects, we enjoy travelling and visiting new places, we can still run around and play with the grandchildren. We are blessed because without good health every aspect of life becomes harder, more challenging and less fulfilling.

So whilst sending our love and support to Bob and Sally we are also taking a moment to appreciate what we have and not moan and gripe about a blister on the heel, or a grumble of indigestion. To end this entry I would like to share with you one of the readings we used at our marriage ceremony as we felt it was perfect for our situation and it stands alone as a lovely reminder of what love is truly about, especially as we grow older.



What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nanna came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”


“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams



The importance of ancestry

Margaret Owen (nee Davies)

Life has been throwing some strange coincidences my way just lately and as a result I find myself embarking on a journey of discovery about my forebears, the area in which I am now living and inevitably, myself.

In September John and I booked ourselves places on an open day at Gregynog Hall near Newtown, Powys. This lovely old house lies high in the hills of mid Wales about fifteen miles from where we now live. It has had a long and chequered history but is currently owned by the University of Wales.Gregynog

It was a glorious autumnal day and we wandered through the beautiful gardens and grounds enjoying the ancient woodland and the peaceful nature of the place before joining the group of about 20 for the guided tour of the inside of the house. To my knowledge I had never been here before  but as soon as we entered the building I experienced that deja vu feeling and this intensified as we made our way through the rooms. The feeling was especially strong when we went upstairs and were invited to look at some of the bedrooms which still contain the original arts and crafts style furniture made by the Missed Davies who owned and lived in the house in the early nineteenth century.

The tour and accompanying talk was fascinating and dealt mainly with the house’s history as it passed from one wealthy family to another, and the day ended with a superb afternoon tea served in the panelled dining room.

As we drove home I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I had been there before and called my father, now nearly 94, to ask if he had taken me there as a child, thinking that this could be the answer. He had not, but he then went on to tell me that my great grandparents had worked for the estate, my great grandfather as the carter and my great grandmother in the house before her marriage. I was instantly intrigued as you can imagine and he then went on to tell me the sad ending of the story. Once the couple were married they went on to have five children and were living in an estate small holding when my great grandfather Thomas Owen was badly hurt in an accident at work resulting in the amputation of his leg. As a result he was unable to carry out his duties and the family were evicted from their home and had to return to my great grandmother’s family home as paupers and throw themselves on the mercy of their relatives.

I realise that this is not an unusual or rare occurrence as a tied dwelling was just that and when the work could no longer be done, the cottage was needed for a new  employee but it has made me look at the woman in the photograph above with new eyes as I try to find out more about her and her story. She looks kind, but strong and I know from my father’s recollections of her that she was a much loved lady within the family and someone who would do all she could for others.

As I have begun to search for more details in this sad story I have met a local librarian who has helped me enormously, I have met the Librarian from Gregynog Hall who has added my family names to those she searches for within the estate archives and I shall be going later this week to the University Library of Wales in Aberystwyth to look through some of those estate records for myself. I would love to know what role Margaret had, was she housemaid or cook, laundry woman or dairymaid? The house played host to many famous people from the world of politics, art and music and was the retreat used by Stanley Baldwin and his family for him to recuperate after the stresses of dealing with Edward’s abdication in the 1930s. It is a privilege to feel connected to such a property and such a history albeit in a small way.

Each week brings new discoveries and the journey is a fascinating one.

Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized

Ten Commandments for the 21st century


So Christmas has been and gone and is often the way when friends and family gather, the wine flows and conversations can quickly become passionate, even heated. One such debate that occurred in our home was the role of religion in the 21st century and in no way do I wish to offend any of my readers with a religious faith of any denomination but the debate ranged over many issues and finally focused on the relevance of the Ten Commandments.

In a fairly light hearted way and trying to rally a sense of proportion at this time of family togetherness I suggested that we should take up pen and paper and try to write some more suitable commandments for the lives we lead today. The following are the product of a multi generational group with varying views on religion and faith in general, but all were in complete agreement that a Code of Behaviour was a valuable thing for society at large, regardless of belief, colour, race or gender.

  1. Do not let money, material goods or mobile phones become your god.
  2. Do not worship the world of celebrity.
  3. Respect the beliefs of others.
  4. Lead a life that is balanced with time for work, play and stillness.
  5. Cherish all the generations of your family and value them while you have them.
  6. Treat the planet with kindness and care, mankind, animals and plants.
  7. Think twice before acting in a way which could hurt others.
  8. Never take anything which is not yours or freely given to you.
  9. Use words cautiously, lies have power to harm others and yourself.
  10. Be content with what you already have rather than what you think you lack.

At the end of this exercise all disagreements had been forgotten in the challenge of trying to update the wording of the Ten Commandments and it was soon found that we all had much more in common regardless of our age or religious inclinations.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and views on whether we got it right or even, dreadfully wrong?

mental health, Philosophy, Uncategorized



The snow started falling on Friday night and yesterday we woke to find a white world, a covering of two or three inches and trees and bushes laden with soft icing. The sun came out and wrapped up we had a wonderful walk, enjoying the scenery around us and the beauty of this quiet, clean world. Last night the weather forecasters were full of warnings of heavy and prolonged snowfall with very low temperatures and as so often is the case when the forecast is bad, they got it exactly right. The snow started again in the early hours of the morning and now at 2pm it is still snowing. All our tracks from yesterday have disappeared, no traffic is moving and the world outside is silent.

Before we moved back to Wales we had had little snow for years, the West Country rarely gets a decent covering so initially we were delighted to be seeing snow again. It was exciting, an adventure, we could feel a childlike pleasure in donning wellington boots and knitted hats and generally behaving like children. There is little to be concerned about, our house is warm and comfortable we have plenty of wood for the stove and the gas tank is reassuringly half full. I have never been able to throw off my Mother’s advice to keep a good store cupboard so the freezer is well stocked and we have all the supplies needed to feed us for at least a week. We have a television to watch, a list of films we’ve been meaning to see and plenty of books as well as the day to day chores to pass the time so the sensible approach would be to regard this time as an enforced holiday, a staycation and on one level we are doing just that.

There is however, a niggle just under the surface, a feeling of being imprisoned against our will, of being coerced to stay in or close to home. Our opponent here is Mother Nature and there is little we can do to win the battle. If the snow continues to fall and the temperatures to freeze then we are stuck. Today we are fairly relaxed about it, it is Sunday and we would often be at home anyway; tomorrow will be OK, we had no plans but on Tuesday I go to my Tai Chi class, on Wednesday I have a hairdresser’s appointment and already I begin to feel an irrational irritation that my plans may be thwarted. It was at this point that I decided to come and write down my feelings because what I am experiencing is an expectation that because I have planned something it should come to pass when in reality many things can cause us to change plans, to fail to meet deadlines, to cancel arrangements. It is a myth that we are in control of our lives and takes only a snowstorm here in UK or the horrific fires currently raging in California to show us that we have little control over the big things in life and very little at all where Nature is concerned.

I am one of the lucky ones, in no immediate danger just having to accept a little inconvenience, a reminder that my little niggles are of little or no consequence and life will not end if I fail to get a hair cut on Wednesday. My thoughts go out to anyone who is due to go to hospital tomorrow for a planned operation, for anyone living rough through this awful weather, for those who work in our emergency services to keep traffic moving and people safe no matter what the weather.

So, having given myself a good talking to, I shall do what I always do in times of stress – I shall bake a cake, coffee and walnut I think, and eat a large slice while watching the snowflakes slip past the window and focus on how my good fortune.

Philosophy, Uncategorized



Tomorrow the countdown to Christmas will begin as children everywhere eagerly search for and open Door No1 of their advent calendars and the slow build of excitement will start with each day bringing them closer to the overwhelming awareness that Santa will be arriving. My own grandchildren are still young enough to be completely fascinated by the magic and wonder of this dear old gentleman, sliding down the chimney in his red clothes with never a smut appearing on his snow white beard, but when I remember my own nervous anticipation as a child, it always seemed to me that Christmas Eve was the most special part of the whole festive season.

For days I would have seen my Mother baking and the walk in pantry would slowly fill with all manner of delights, none of which we were allowed to taste before the 25th. Mince pies and puddings, trifles and jellies, pickles and ham, cheeses, nuts and fruit would take their place on the shelves all waiting in line for the arrival of the star – the turkey. Early on Christmas Eve the butcher would arrive, bringing the magnificent bird who would then lie in state on the marble slab with regular visits from my brother and I to make sure that all was well.

In my memories it was always cold at Christmas, often with frost or snow and my Father would have filled all the coal scuttles and log baskets, fires would be lit and at 5pm my Mother would begin to relax, ” The shops are shut now,” she would say.”What we haven’t got, we do without.” And so it would begin with a simple supper of egg and chips to rest our stomachs in preparation for the following day’s feasting. We would then walk to the local park where every Christmas Eve the  churches and chapels would combine to create a living nativity and sing carols outside. It was a ritual we followed year after year and once home again, it was time to prepare for Father Christmas. A small glass of whisky and a mince pie along with a carrot for Rudolph  would be placed at the side of the fire before we went to bed. Even now I can remember the tingle of excitement flooding through me, the knowledge that somehow things would be different tomorrow but with no certainty of how it would all happen or indeed what exactly might appear.

Of course I enjoyed the thrill of opening presents the next morning, the time spent with grandparents playing board games, the wonderful food my Mother had prepared but it was never quite as special as the anticipation and even now I enjoy looking forward to things and often get as much or more pleasure from that than the actual event. Perhaps because I enjoy planning, whether its a holiday itinerary or a meal for family and friends, from the moment I sit down with pen and paper to begin preparations I am anticipating what lies ahead and for me that is when the enjoyment starts.

On Saturday I shall be taking my grandson to his first pantomime, Peter Pan, and next week I shall be going to watch him take the role of a Wise Man in his school Nativity and share in his excitement and wonder as he slowly counts down the days to the big event. It is a wonderful part of being a grandparent to see the old traditions being played out again with another generation and a great privilege to be allowed to share in the joy of a childhood Christmas for the third time. So, tomorrow, I too will be opening the first door on my calendar, and looking forward to seeing young faces wide eyed with joy and wonder at this very special time of year.

Days out, Uncategorized

Do you pootle?

The dictionary defines pootling as ‘moving along in a leisurely way with no set agenda or aim’ and we have become expert pootlers since retiring. Last Friday we woke to a crisp winter’s day with clear blue skies and a touch of frost giving a sparkle to the world. As we sat drinking our morning cup of tea we pondered on a suitable destination for a day out? What to do? Where to go?Neither of us felt inclined to travel too far or to attempt anything too strenuous so we settled on a ‘pootling day’ and decided to head for Ludlow.

For my readers who do not know the UK well, Ludlow is a small market town on the Wales/England border and is steeped in history. The castle stands proudly at the centre of town and the narrow streets wind down from the market square enticing shoppers with their unique and special contents. Traditional crafts and family butchers rub shoulders with music shops and long standing hardware stores and each street is literally peppered with a wonderful assortment of eateries, their tempting aromas escaping out on the pavements. What better venue?

So we set off driving along quiet country roads enjoying the crisp morning, sighting pheasants and squirrels and delighting in a fox creeping along the hedgerow. After fifty minutes or so we decided to stop in Craven Arms, another small county town where the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre sits, it’s sedum covered roof making it blend softly into the surrounding countryside. A great bonus of a day spent pootling is that you never quite know what you will come across; we stopped for a cup of coffee in the excellent cafe and we did indeed have this along with a sumptuous piece of spicy, gingery pear parkin, but after enjoying our elevenses we wandered in to the gallery to find an exhibition of wonderful photographs by Jean Macdonald, This is a link to the artists website rather than just the display we saw but we thoroughly enjoyed her work.

Back in the car we drove the last ten miles in to Ludlow and parked the car where the man in the car next to us gave his ticket which allowed us to park free for the remainder of the day, a random act of kindness that helped the day along.

It was market day and we enjoyed browsing the stalls,buying locally made sausages to take home, a new oak side table from a flea market( we can only wonder whose elegant lounge it may have graced before ending up in our cosy Welsh home), and some small Christmas gifts. We then headed to the local hardware shop which proudly states above the door that the same family business has been in situ for over 150 years, and pushed open the door. Inside you are confronted by a vast array of items on shelves, protruding from old oak drawers, hanging from the ceiling and stacked on the floor. Not knowing where to begin to look for a poker for our wood burner we went in search of a staff member and were met by an impeccably dressed gentleman in full tweed suit, waistcoat and cravat with a handlebar moustache which would not have gone unremarked in Victorian days! Instantly answering our request he set off and reappeared with an array of fire irons from which we could make a selection. Our purchase was duly wrapped and kept behind the counter for later collection so that we would not be burdened with it on our tour of the town.

The day had remained cold and by now we were feeling ready for food again so made our way to a favourite pub, The Blue Boar where settled by a log fire to eat hot platefuls of cottage pie. As we wandered the smaller back streets on our way to the car I spied a Stationers and felt compelled to go in. I have always loved stationery items and this was a true treasure trove; not only pens, pencils and paper of every type but everything any artist could want or need, which  kept hubby very happy. At the rear of the shop, far away from the toys and jigsaw, models and board games was a stand containing exercise books and picking one up I was instantly transported back to my teaching days. As a child I had always loved the thrill of a new exercise book, it seemed to embody a fresh start, a new beginning without any errors, the clean white paper devoid of any ink blots or marks from the teacher’s red pen. As a Primary teacher I can still recall vividly those trips to the stationery cupboard early in September to collect armfuls of new books, green covers for maths, blue for English, red for Geography and so on. Seeing them lined up at the front of the class in readiness for a new group of children  was a sign of hope and possibilities and standing there in the shop, I was for a moment, back in school surrounded by the murmuring of children’s voices and the smells of chalk dust and school dinners.

I dragged myself away from the past and we headed more slowly now back towards the car when my eye was caught by the quiet street in the accompanying picture. These little alley ways are irresistible, they cry out to be explored and so we strolled the length of the quiet street marveling at the age of some of the cottages, intrigues to find a seamstress and wine merchant hiding in this out of the way spot.

It had been a good day, full of unexpected treats and pleasures and I am reminded of the quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, ” …to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”

Philosophy, Uncategorized

Where did twenty years go?


I am not a huge participant on social media, finding it all a bit unnecessary and narcissistic but a few weeks ago on my Facebook page up popped a name from my past with a friend request. With only a slight hesitation I pressed the button and initiated the start to a sequence of messages, culminating in a plan to meet up last Sunday.

This lady, I shall call her Jill, to respect her privacy, and I had been colleagues and friends  for many years until a series of life events had slowly separated us both emotionally and geographically. We had both been through the brutal time of separation and divorce before finally emerging as a more knowing person, more self reliant person and willing to take a gamble on a new relationship. When we had last seen each other we had been in our mid forties, now we are middle aged women in our sixties. As I dressed for the meeting on Sunday morning I felt unsure, nervous, apprehensive. Would we recognise one another? How would time have treated us?We had been at the peak of our teaching careers, well groomed and smartly dressed, part of the have it all generation running full time careers and families, successfully juggling all the balls in the air before everything started to tumble down.

I arrived first at the small tea shop we had chosen for this momentous meeting and sat for five minutes with butterflies churning in my stomach. Then the door opened and without thinking I stepped forward and was engulfed in a hug of such strength and warmth there was no denying the warmth of Jill’s greeting. Settling ourselves with hot drinks the conversation jumped and skipped throughout the years and ranged from topic to topic: children, work, men and relationships, redundancy and illness, surgery and house moves, retirement and lifestyles. Some two hours later we drew breath and realised that although life had taken us down very different paths we still had much in common. As with everyone we had both suffered losses, gone through periods of illness and recovery, had more wrinkles and a few more curves to show for all those years but inside we hadn’t changed very much at all and the years fell away as we talked.

We failed to pinpoint the exact year when we had last been together but it must be heading for twenty years ago and yet within a matter of hours I felt a deep connection that would have taken months if not years to build with a ‘new’ friend. This was the first meeting, there will be more I’m certain as we both felt really pleased to have come together again and hopefully this time life won’t conspire to keep us apart for so long. An old friend is irreplaceable because the ground work was done a long time ago; we already know so much about each other that it seems we can just jump back on the track and set off again. What a gift! Thank you Facebook!

mental health, Moving home, Philosophy, Uncategorized


Berwyn mountains

There is a Welsh word, Hiraeth, for which there is no direct translation in to English. It conveys a mix of homesickness, a longing to be back in Wales and a love for all things Welsh. After just a few months of being back in my home country I have begun to realise that I may have been suffering from Hiraeth without even knowing it.

Before our move we lived in  a beautiful part of Cornwall, close to Dartmoor and the wild and spectacular North Cornish coast; we were spoilt with choice whenever we fancied taking a walk or wanted to show off to visitors the beautiful part of the world in which we lived but somehow I always felt disconnected, a little out of joint with my surroundings, as if I was on a long holiday.

I left mid Wales when I was eighteen to begin the journey of my adult life by living in Chester and training to be a Primary teacher; from here I moved to Bristol in the South West, married and then spent two years in South Africa before returning to the UK and settling in Gloucestershire, later moving north to Lancashire and finally down to Cornwall. Throughout this meandering part of my life I have always returned to mid Wales regularly to visit family and maintain a connection and whether arriving from the North or the South I always felt a sagging in my shoulders and a soft sigh escape me as I crossed the border and felt myself wrapped around again in the soft hills and muted shades of the countryside. Apart from my two years in South Africa I had never been away for longer than three months without paying a visit, however short, and never failed to leave feeling a sense of renewal and with something deep and inexplicable having shifted within me.

Our decision to move back to this corner of Wales, unheard of by most people, was prompted by a wish to be closer to my elderly father, still in mid Wales and my children and grandchildren living in the North of England. The decision was confirmed by the low cost of property and the peaceful existence and stunning scenery. As is the norm the move was tiring and stressful, there were unforeseen complications and difficulties but now some 4 months down the line we are able to enjoy the new house and area. We can leave our house and immediately take one of four paths and soon find ourselves on the hillsides where the scenery is simply breathtaking and the air is filled with tranquility. Never before have I appreciated the amazing trees in Wales, oak, ash, beech and birch, chestnut and horse chestnut, willow and cherry abound throughout the valley and many of them have such an air of permanence and longevity that just to walk among them is balm to the mind and soul.

We Celtic races have a deep connection to our homeland but this move has brought home to me the intensity of that link as never before. Finally I feel at home, I fit in here, I connect easily with the people around me and my husband has been amazed and astounded at the friendliness and kindness of people and their lack of wanting to make money from every situation. Tradespeople know that their next job is worth more than the £10 they could charge for a call out fee and would rather have your good will and word of mouth recommendation. There is a true spirit of community and people are valued for who and what they are and not what they do and what they own.

I have been a nomad for over fifty years and although I have made many friends and enjoyed much of my travelling it is truly special to finally have come home.


Gratitude 2

In my last blog post I wrote about the worry of my daughter facing the unknown with a breast lump. We have a strong family history of breast cancer so staying positive was not easy for either her or me, so the relief on hearing that she has a harmless hormonal cyst was huge. I lost my grandmother and mother to this disease and underwent preventative surgery in my 40s as I had by then had over a dozen cysts removed, a decision I have never regretted. It now looks as though my daughter may be following the family pattern of throwing up cysts as she matures but the treatments have improved so much that she was able to receive diagnosis within two weeks of first finding the lump and will now be monitored on a yearly basis. The C word is still scary but not in the way that it was for my Mother back in the 1980s, today there is far greater knowledge, a wider range of treatment options and an amazingly supportive breast care service run by the NHS in UK.


There is much to be grateful for and Breast Cancer Care will continue to be my number one charity to receive support

breastcancer care