Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What Can I Say...... More Visitors

Yesterday was very quiet on the visitor front, just me and the dogs, who to be quite honest are pretty crap visitors, they just like to sleep.

Today was very busy with 12 visitors spread throughout the day.

I missed a few of today's visitors, but as they are locals will get a pic of them later. 

Today's visitors included Pam and Ken, Pam is ex Australia they now living in the Scottish Highlands.

Sheila and Greg ex Australia now living in Runcorn, they came bearing loads of gifts, including two packets of Tim Tams! 

A basket-full of flowers arrived courtesy of John and Ali off of NB Triskaideka. 

The gift corner is getting bigger 

This is my side of the family, my mum Margaret, sister Jackie and niece Hayley, they bought a lovely bracelet for Elaine which she loved. 

I should also mention that we have had a lovely donation for the Hospice from Roly and Bev off of NB Klara, lots of goodies from various boaters but I'm afraid I'm forgetting who brought or sent what. Its all been a bit busy and emotional as you can imagine, so sorry if I forgot you

I'm not sure if its the right thing to do but if anyone wants to send a donation to the hospice they would be most grateful as would Elaine and myself. They do a fantastic job.

You can find all the details here...

Please let me know if you do donate so I can thank you .....

Tomorrow should be a lot quieter, only one visitor booken in so far!

Monday, June 27, 2016

More Visitors..

Its been a busy couple of days with visitors.

Yesterday we had Elaine's dad Burt plus brother Trev.
Wendy from Mojacar was also there, we had a nice afternoon having a few cans of  Guinness and cider.

Today I went to Macclesfield station to pick up Elaine's nieces Leyna and Josie, they had caught the train up from London to spend the day with Elaine. Before taking them to see Elaine we popped in to see their Grandad Burt, they haven't seen him in far too many years.

Today Wendy went shopping and bought Elaine some nice new tops, skirts and trousers, which was much appreciated, especially by me as I really didn't fancy doing it, gawd knows what I would have ended up buying!

Here they are posing with the hug monkey, Wendy brought him over from Mojacar, he was supplied by Anika who runs a beach bar and has been hugged by all Elaine's Mojacar friends. Elaine loves him. 

A lovely bunch of flowers arrived courtesy of my ex receptionist and accountant from my old company All Marine Spares in Sydney. 

In the afternoon we were joined by Elaines nephew Anthony from Macclesfield, here he is with his cousins and auntie Elaine.

All of us in the hospice garden. 

Late in the afternoon I took Wendy to a B&B close to Manchester airport as she has a early flight back to Spain in the morning.
It was then back to the Hospice in time to run Leyna and Josie down to the station for their trip back daan saaf.
Next stop was the pub for a quick pint before returning to the van to watch England get beat by Iceland!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Happy Hatted Boaters....

We only managed two night together in the motorhome, we were visited by the Macmillan nurse and the local GP who decided that Elaine couldn't be looked after in the van.

Within two hours of the GPs visit she had found Elaine a place in the East Cheshire Hospice which is located in Macclesfield.   

It was a very emotional move but she is in a much place with unbelievable care and love from the staff and volunteers at the hospice.

As I said on an earlier post I wanted to put happy pics on the blog from now on, so what could be a better place to start than with a visit from the happy hatted boaters. This is the group that we spent two winters with at Aston Marina plus spent the winter down Mojacar with four of them.

They hired a minibus so they could all come up together.

They are the most wonderful group of peeps you could ever meet, it was lovely to catch up and to bring a smile to Elaine's lovely face. 

I should also mention another good friend from Mojacar has flown up to visit Elaine, Wendy is staying in Macclesfield and will fly back to sunny Spain on Tuesday, she is another special generous person.

The boater bruvvers, L/R Andy (NB Festina Lente) Gordon (NB Ewn Ha Cul) Ray (NB Ferndale) Roly (NB Klara)

The boater sistas Bev (NB Klara) Dot (NB Ewn Ha Cul) Diane (NB Ferndale) Sue (NB Festina Lente) 

In the evening Wendy joined us for the dinner at one of the best pubs in the UK (Sutton Hall)
Unfortunately Elaine couldn't be there with us. 

I took the doggies of course, Sammie always enjoys catching up with his old mates. 

Thanks guys it was lovely to see you xxxx

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Would You Like A Banana

I took the dogs on their normal late afternoon stroll along the canal, as I came back off the canal and under the Gurnett aqueduct there was a larger Turkish registered semi trailer (Artic) stopped just before the bridge, it looked too high so I offered to be his eyes and see if I could guide him through.

I kept him dead in the centre and guided him through safely, there was just a couple of inches to spare either side.

When we got through I walked ahead but he held up all the traffic and came running after me to thank me and offer me a gift......A Banana!

He was very happy, he would have had to back up about a mile if he didn't go through! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The News Is Not Good.....

I wasn't going to write this blog post, but after sending out about 30 emails and messages this morning it was taking up too much time, I cant phone as the phone signal here on the farm is crap.

The head oncologist visited her yesterday and it wasn't good, she has deteriorated to the point that they can no longer offer her chemo.

They are going to discharge her this week and put her in the care of the local, district nurses, Macmillan nurses and her GP. 

As you can imagine the prognosis is grim, so this will be the last medical  update, from now on it will be just nice pics  of us, the dogs, family and friends making the most of a pretty crappy situation.

Well I better get tidying up the van for the home coming!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life On The Farm

 I have now been here for over two weeks, it really is quite a nice spot to be moored up in. During the week I am on my own but come the weekend I am joined by a few campers, caravans and motorhomes.

The farm is a working farm not just a campsite, there are cows and sheep but the main part of the farm are the  stables housing about 25 horses.  

This is the main entrance.

One of the locals. 

Tho pics don't show how pretty it is here. 

Plenty of walking for the boys. 

Our mooring. 

My mate Dumbledore. 

The Macclesfield canal is very close and is also a lovely walk for the boys with maximum sniffage. 

Talking of the boys they are sitting waiting patiently for their mum to come home.

Meanwhile up at the Christie hospital Elaine is still in isolation, she now has low blood pressure and the  potassium readings in her blood are far too high.

She is still far to ill for chemo but is stoic as ever and thanks everyone for their kind wishes xx

Of course now my editor is now hopitalised  the blog will be suffering from poor grandmar and spillin!!

This cannot be helped, English wasn't my favourite subject!!! 

I is a mechanic init!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Macclesfield Canal Reopens

I walk past here every morning whilst walking the doggies, its such a classic canal scene. It's the Gurnett aqueduct on the Macc canal, the farm we are moored up in is behind the trees on the right.

And a bit further around the loop the scenery is just stunning, as I have said many times England in summer is unbeatable. 

Past one of the many lovely cottages in the village of Sutton 

Later in the day I drove over to Bollington to pick up my bag wash from the launderette.

I took a walk up to the canal to see how the repair was going and lo and behold its open again, the Cheshire ring is in action again, to be fair I didn't see one boat on the move!

Walking along the canals checking out the boats gives me a serious hankering to get another day! 

I also noticed that The Holy Bush pub has reopened, it is the closest pub to the canal if you are moored up by the Aqueduct. It has been shut for nearly two years, so that's 13 pubs in Bolly now.

Meanwhile up at The Christie Hospital I would love to report that Elaine is improving but sadly its not the case.

She is now in an isolation ward because of infection and also has other complications.

As ever she puts a positive spin on it and enjoys the room because it has a view and she can see the sky again!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

What A Difference A Week Makes

Last week when I moored up on the farm the weather was absolutely superb, here we go I thought a lovely long hot summer.......

...........A week later what can I say, its been non stop rain since Friday, situation normal.

Then again it wouldn't be the green and pleasant land without it. 

Meanwhile up the in Manchester at the Christie Hospital Elaine is getting excellent care, she is still very unwell and yesterday they moved her to another ward, to see those nurses on her last ward hug her as she left bought a tear to your eye. The wards men that moved her showed so much care and the welcome from the nurses on the new ward was fantastic, as Elaine said it really is first class service. 

Thank you the wonderful NHS    

Friday, June 10, 2016

Canal Breach And A Strange Horse

I took a trip to Bollington yesterday, whilst there I checked out the leaking Macclesfield canal.

The leak is opposite The Clarence Mill. 

Apparently they fill the hole with puddling clay. 

They hope this is the only leak, but wont know until the canal is refilled. 

They have built a dam to hold the water back. 

Back at the campsite which is located on a farm I often go and have a chat with a lovely horse called Dumbledore, he is a such a funny boy. 

When I talk to him, his ears prick up and he cocks his head to one side.

 Unfortunately he doesn't talk back.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Back In The Sunny UK!

 I haven't done a blog for a while as the signal where we are moored up is very dodgy, but tonight we are getting a lot of bars!

So back to last week.........So what do you do when driving for five days on your own......take automatic selfies of oneself driving of course.

A week ago today this was my overnight mooring, a lovely little French Village called Salasc. 

I took the boys for a walk round the village, it was like most little French villages, very quiet, but oh so fascinating. 

The next day I continued heading north right through the centre of France, I drove over the famous Millau viaduct, it is a spectacular piece of engineering. 

A shot nicked off of the web!

As I continued north the weather deteriorated, it was bloody cold and the rain was hammering down, the Spanish weather was well behind me.   

My next stop was yet another lovely French village called Menetou-Salon, the free motorhome Aire here had free electric hook ups as well as the usual water and waste disposal. For motorhome touring France is easily the best in Europe for facilities, with most of them being free or a small nominal charge.

This chateau was just behind the parking area. 

I left early the next morning stopping at a small town for my breakfast cross ants! 

I then got pretty lost because the roads were flooded and the sat nav couldn't get me out, it kept sending me back to the same blocked roads. Luckily Mr friendly white van man in front of me helped me out of my predicament and I managed to escape.  

Now the fun part of the trip happened......I had been using toll roads all the way and had been doing about 500ks a day. When I crossed the Spain/France border I was pulled over by the border control police, they asked me how long I had been in Spain, where I was living down there and where was I heading, no big deal I thought.

Two days later and I am at the last toll gates before Paris, nothing unusual, but I did notice some cops on motorbikes just after the tollgates. As I left the toll gates I was struggling to put my belt on as I have to climb over the other side of the van to pay the toll,  no big deal I thought. A couple of ks down the motorway two police motorbikes pulled up alongside me and signaled me to follow them, one went in front and one behind, the had the lights and sirens on and slowed me down to about 50 ks. I followed them for another 5 ks or so until we came to a slip road, we went up the slip road with the bike in front clearing and stopping the traffic as we went. We went though the little village then turned off down a side track and stopped.

I got out of the van, to have a chat with the two cops, they had balaclavas on, which Im not sure was for the cold or to protect their identity. One spoke pretty good English, they then asked me loads of questions of where I worked where was i going, where do I live what was I doing in Spain, I explained about Elaine flying home and I was following with the dogs.  

Next a cop car and a cop  van arrived, they asked me to get the dogs out of the van and put them on their leads, they then brought over the dog and he went rummaging through the van.

They did a lot of talking amongst themselves then said I was free to go and they would take me back to the motorway.

I asked them if I could take their photos for the blog!!! A very definite kin no chance.

I asked what they were looking for, they wouldn't tell me they just said you are English, on your own, not touring but doing 5oo ks a day and they have been monitoring me from the border. I can only presume they use the toll cameras to pick up certain activity.

What they didn't realise was that I had the whole being pulled over and follow me on my dash cam, but in my haste to download it later in the day I managed to erase the file....doh!!

So Im guessing it was either drugs, illegal immigrants or explosives etc. It was rather exciting, a lot of the villagers were poking their heads down the lane to see what was going on.

Back to the humdrum.....

Bombo navigated for the first half of the trip, Sammie navigated for the second half, he was also crap! 

This was my mooring for Friday night, its a great Aire for the ferry or the tunnel, you cant get much closer.

There was a van full of cops parked up on the Aire, I presume he was there to make sure the illegals didn't try to climb in any motorhomes. 

It was an uneventful foggy crossing, I slept the whole way, I was feeling a tad tired by now. 

Elaine's sister lives in Maidstone so I picked her up on the way through to Macclesfield. She was going to spend a few days with Elaine.

I arrived in Macclesfield on Saturday afternoon after a 5 day drive. 

I am staying at Jarman farm, its a lovely working farm just on the outskirts of Macclesfield.

Of course the next problem was what are we going to do for transport, the little Citroen was still in Spain!

Elaine's lovely friend Jane came to the rescue and has lent us her lovely Volvo car, it is much appreciated and makes it so much easier to get around and to visit Elaine in hospital. 

So finally and most importantly the reason we are back in the UK......Elaine's health! 

As soon as she arrived back in the UK she went to Macclesfield A&E  they did various test etc and relieved the pain but passed her over to the Christie specialist cancer hospital in Manchester.

She has been in the Christie hospital since Sunday, she was admitted in excruciating pain, today they fitted a drain to her belly so she will be able to drain her belly herself, obviously a district nurse will come to visit us to show us how to do it at first. This is the op that they couldn't do in Spain, she will be in hospital for a few more days yet as they are also going to recommence chemo treatment, and she need to rest before they start.

The care at the Christie hospital is absolutely amazing, they have all the latest equipment and the place is absolutely immaculate. From Elaine's point of view she also feels a lot safer being able to communicate in English.

One of the things that Elaine wasn't looking forward to was  seeing  the oncologist, she was worried that they would scold her for running away to Spain and refusing treatment here back in January. She was so wrong, the head oncologist came to see her, which is pretty unusual, she told him of her worries and having egg on her face etc. His response was that they are not there to judge, only to help, he said this whilst holding her hand, it was quite touching.    

So that's that all up to date.

One last thing........and it has been bothering me for well over a week.....

As well as writing the blog I also write to a few friends mostly in Australia giving them updates on what is happening with Elaine, and yes its usually not such good news, plus of course I am focused on Elaine 24/7 so probably don't ask what is happening in their lives which of course in no problem to them at all apart from one person!!!

The reply I got from this friend was absolutely shocking beyond belief, apparently I wasn't interested on what was happening in their lives and only sent them bad news!! It made me so angry and continues to do so It also upset Elaine no end which pissed me off even more.
Twenty minutes after sending me the disgusting email this person then sent a very long email to Elaine detailing every event that had happened to them over the last month but not once asked how Elaine was!!! We have have been what I thought was really good friends with this person for probably 18 years or so. 

It was without a doubt the worst email I have ever received in any private or  business dealings. 

I was tempted to publish their email but better not lower myself to their standard.

Thankfully 99.99999% of people are terrific and supportive and for that we are eternally grateful.