Of course, it comes around every year, but the cycle of feasting followed by ‘detox’, or insane overconsumption of rich foods and then complete abstinence, just when you need some solid sustenance to get you through the winter, is neither good for man nor beast.
You could not make it up. Already I was writing the headline. 'Cancer victim in midst of chemotherapy served eviction notice two weeks before Christmas.'
Thinking of a winter break somewhere warm and sunny? Then you’ll be heading to places where various vaccines may be either advised, or required.
0800: Wake up and realise that I am half blind. Put on specs. Now only quarter blind. Right eye is glued shut and red and puffy and dribbly. Yeugh.
Armour on, weapons primed, bullets at the ready, let battle commence, because cancer is aggressive and sometimes deadly and there is a fight to be fought.
Och, and it was all going so well! Three chemo sessions called FEC successfully under my belt, some tiredness, temporary steroid-based insomnia, but only in the few days after each treatment.
A wise woman has asked me if I am frightened. I think for a few moments and say 'Yes, I am frightened.' She asks me what I fear.
‘Coffee gives you heart attacks, but tea makes you live forever’ ‘Caffeine is addictive and leads to nervous exhaustion’ ‘I’m useless without my two cups in the morning’ …and so on and so forth.
Chemotherapy and good side effects are not usually discussed in the same sentence but one unexpected outcome of an elephantine infusion of toxic and unpronounceable drugs has been that after fifteen years without it I have regained my sense of smell!
'Grief! Why are people baking bloody Victoria Sponges and cupcakes to pay for a MacMillan nurse? Aaaargh!
If you’re making jack-o-lanterns for Hallowe’en this year, you’ll end up with a lot of pumpkin flesh and seeds.
It is the first visit and they sit staring at me. I am here to read poetry.
If the seeds are the part of the plant you’re interested in, it’s best to harvest them when they are fully ripe – any time from early autumn until the first frosts.
HAIR. My hair was fuzzy black when I was born and stuck upwards like a bush-baby.
Mushrooms are springing up in every woodland in Britain right now.
There’s a gorgeous display of hawthorn berries in the hedgerows lately; a heart-lifting sight as we move towards winter.
I am waiting for my chemotherapy to start. There are five more sleeps until Friday.
Has anybody been watching ‘The Doctor who gave up Drugs’?
Everyone loves an operation. There are hospital anecdotes and scars and dressings and legitimate afternoon naps.
It’s definitely autumn all of a sudden.
Slowly, reluctantly, I battled my way out of the unnaturally deep and glorious sleep that is a general anaesthetic.
‘Oh, I’d love to grow herbs for a living!’ I hear that a lot.
Which left exactly seventeen days to live through.
I’m in southern France this week, at the end of a biscuit-dry summer.
The day for biopsy results came. It was mild and sunny in Perthshire so I carried my bike down the two flights of stairs and cycled uphill through the city to the hospital.
I'm now officially part of the gang. My sixtieth birthday was in the middle of August and although I stopped celebrating them years ago, I made an exception this year because it was time for me to become a Crone.
I just had an achy leg and yes I was breathing heavily. I put it down to being overweight and getting old.....wrong !