Thursday, 29 December 2016


I hope you all have had a lovely Christmas. And if it hasn't been lovely, I hope it hasn't been too difficult. I know exactly how it feels not to have a happy Christmas. Indeed, last year I was in hospital after major abdominal surgery.

This year T and I have had a very happy and relaxed time at home. We ate duck, turkey and gammon with chestnut stuffing. We drank mulled wine and champagne. We scoffed mince pies, Christmas cake, Baklava, dates, chocolate and nuts. We sat around our large tree and enjoyed plenty of good presents from family, friends and neighbours. And we slept in, often not rising until noon.

It has been a time of indulgence and celebration: giving thanks that I am not where I was a year ago; giving thanks that I have come through two recurrences of my cancer.

In-between all the sleeping, eating and relaxing we managed a few local walks, giving Rex, the farm dog, a present of extra biscuits. He was happy to see us, as usual, and rolled over in the farmyard to get his throat, ears and belly rubbed.

We got so relaxed that we almost forgot that we were going away for Hogmanay. So we have been frantically packing.

Wishing you and yours a healthy and fruitful New Year.

I'm wishing for a cancer free 2017.

Paul xxx

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Dear Friends,

Thank you for following my blog. Your support and encouragement has made a real difference to what has been a very difficult year for me.

As you may recall, after four years of being all clear I had a recurrence of my cancer and this time last year I was admitted for major abdominal surgery. Due to some complications I ended up staying in hospital until Boxing Day. T decorated my bed with Xmas lights and tinsel, the nurses called it Santa’s Grotto!

Unfortunately, they didn’t remove all of the bad cells and six months later the tumour had regrown in the same place. In early September I went back into hospital for more surgery and have been recovering well since. I had a scan a month ago and that was all clear, but you need a series of them to be sure.

T and I have exchanged rings and have set up home together. She has been great throughout these hard times. I don’t know what I would do without her.

While recuperating from the two periods in hospital, I’ve continued to write poetry and my weekly blog. I’ve also managed to become active again, walking and cycling regularly. And I’ve rejoined the Sing for Life choir.

I very much hope your troubles have been few.

Wishing you and yours all the very best for Xmas and the New Year.

Paul xxx