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The 2nd of July.

I don’t know what it is. I just don’t feel like I am in holiday mode. I’m kind of exhausted and not eating in the regular way and definitely not drinking enough because the water here tastes disgusting and I am reduced to drinking squash like a child. So I feel generally shit but am trying not to inflict it upon the rest of the family. I just don’t want to do anything or go anywhere.

Today, after much effort, we went to Southwold. We had planned to go this morning so we could have lunch at a nice café we’d read about, but the car battery had died. Had to call the RAC who sold us a new battery and we got there about three o’clock this afternoon. I got an iced coffee from the aforementioned café, then we pootled along down the seafront, down the pier and back again. Saw countless good dogs, got battered by the wind and saw some faintly disturbing artwork.

In good news, I have joined all my hexagons! Now I have to do the border, then tidy up all my ends.

The 3rd of July.

Yep so my brain has got on the depression train. No appetite, no motivation to do anything, go anywhere. Going to have to go through the motions until it lifts.

Family understand. They made sure I had food and enough to drink, then left to go and see what Sutton Hoo was like. That’s fine – it’s what I wanted. All I want is to sit and work on my blanket, listen to tennis. Just pass the days until we leave on Friday. I want to be in my cocoon until then. 

The 17th of August. 

I needed to smell the sea. 

It’s now a tradition that we go on a coastal holiday each year, but this year it didn’t really happen. Our time in Shaldon wasn’t blessed with great weather or health on my part so there were no seaside excursions. I feel like it does me good to be near the ocean, to smell the salt in the air and feel the sun, so while Daddy has been off this week, I proposed we have a trip to a beach. Today was our only available day, so off we went to Weston-super-Mare. 

We arrived about half twelve and joined the queue of people searching for a car park. Thankfully the parking fairy was with us, and we found a space on the street where we could park for free with the blue badges. Mommy had done some research into good fish and chip places, and had seen one called Winston’s which appeared to be pretty reputable. It was an excellent choice; the batter on the fish was really crispy and the chips weren’t too greasy, so if you ever do a trip, I recommend it. 

We them walked/drove all the way to the top of the beach, enjoying all the fun dogs that people had brought with them – always a bonus of the seaside. Once there was no more beach, we turned around and went back to the car, stopping for ice cream on the way. That was all I needed. 

We drove home via the Gloucester services, stopping for coffee and a small amount of shopping. Lots of traffic. My back hurts. Worth it though.

The 18th of August. 

Oof I am tired. Two busy days, now I need a proper lie-in. It would be good if I could fall asleep before one am. Bah. 

This morning, I wrote up the blog post of my anniversary day, and wrote about yesterday. Then I went to get that PetPlan forms from the cat room so I could fill in the paperwork for Betty’s adoption this afternoon. 

We had lunch while catching up on Wednesday’s Celebrity Masterchef, and shortly after it finished, Michael, Betty’s new owner, arrived. 

We ticked the various boxes and signed in appropriate places, then went to get Betty into the carrier. She was not keen, so we had to chuck a lot of Dreamies in so she could have the door shut behind her. Get some more tomorrow!

This afternoon, I watched the first episode of The Defenders, then some Buffy while using up wool crocheting a mandala from my new book. I keep getting pain in my fat arm, like my vessels are being squeezed. I see Andrew on the 31st. We’ll chat about it all then. 

The 7th of July. 

Finally got to have my pancakes! Balcony mapley goodness. Mommy, Daddy and Christine came with me, but they just had smoothies and coffee because they are boring/had already had breakfast. When we came out, it was trying to rain so we darted into M&S so Christine could pick up some lunch to eat on the train as she went home today. We then returned home with a stop for coffee because I hadn’t had any yet, and that has been my only trip out today. 

I figured I should capitalise on the less-than-ideal weather and work out what I am going to say at my next Anthony Nolan talk. Not the parliament one; I don’t need to give any speeches there, just chat to people, but on Thursday I’m talking to 250 Anthony Nolan staff about my transplant “journey” and patient outcomes. What I’ve said before won’t quite work so I need to rejig it slightly. 

Mommy went back out to buy presents for people, but also came back with a milkshake for me made from chocolate and espresso gelato. It tasted like it was made by gods. So, so good. 

And that is all. Outside my bubble, everything is terrible. Black men are being murdered by police officers in the US, and our next Prime Minister will be Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom, both equally dreadful human beings who will do nothing to improve the lives of vulnerable people. 

The 8th of July. 

Last full day here. This time tomorrow I will be nearly back in my own house (or even already there, depending on how long we spend at the Dorset Seafood Festival before we leave).

Really bad sleep last night, because next door were having some sort of loud musical shindig which kept me awake. I am so glad we don’t live in a terraced house; the noise from neighbours is constant during the day. It would drive me insane. 

I spent the morning in the house, typing up a blog post which I have yet to add the photos to because the WiFi here will take forever to upload them all. Then I had to wait for my parents to return from a bimble so someone could apply suncream to my back before I could go out to get my lunch. Very warm (when not windy) today and I didn’t want to get caught out again. 

I went to Coffee#1 first, but they didn’t have any sandwiches that looked appealing. However, I’d already kind of settled in and didn’t really feel like I could just leave, so I had a flat white and read a chapter of my book. After what I deemed an acceptable amount of time, I left and thought I’d just go to McDonald’s, so I had McNuggets and fries because I am a child. 

When I finished, I went to have a last trundle down the seafront, but getting there was such a slog, I seemed to choose the most inaccessible route possible. When I finally got there, I got to see some donkeys and an enormous amount of puffy dogs, which were most fun, but I had grown tired of the wind, so returned to the house where I must now pack. 

The 20th of July.

I had a better sleep last night – I think I was just more settled, and I didn’t wake up to pee really early so all in all, better. 

I went to Dolly’s for lunch and was joined by Mommy and Daddy, mainly because I needed them to help me get the chair inside. I had Nutella-filled French toast and I’m still full about five hours later. Afterwards, Mommy and I bimbled a bit, she bought two brooches and I got coffee from Espressini, then we went to Trago Mills, the weirdest shop in the world. I got quite excited because they had all the Sylvanian families and their houses which was my dream as a child but I refrained from buying any. 

Came back and read David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, being fascinated by the chapter on near misses, courage and a bit of leukaemia. It seems I am “brave” because I have escaped things and I’ve had no choice and nothing to lose. Fear is usually worse than the thing one is afraid of. 

Now once again trying to decide where to eat dinner. 

The 21st of July.

Today has been 95% good, I would say. The weather has been really nice, so I was able to wear one of my new hats to protect me from the sunshine. I drove the chair to The Meat Counter and parked it outside with the joystick disabled, then sat in the window so I could keep an eye on it. I had a pulled pork bun and a cookies and cream milkshake and it was so good. I watched all the fun tiny dogs outside while I ate and I had a great time. Dogs here are all so thrilled to be alive, I love it. When finished, I wandered up to the Falmouth bookshop where I got The Radleys by Matt Haig and A Slip of the Keyboard by Terry Pratchett.

I came home briefly to use the facilities and do my mouthwash, then I went back out to get a Tropical Twist juice (pineapple, passionfruit, mango, orange and green apple) then I took it to the edge of the the harbour so I could drink it while looking over the water. I’d had about half when I was resting it on the arm of the chair and it slipped and went all over me. That’s karma for feeling smug. I called Mommy and we mopped me up as best we could before coming home and chucking everything in the wash. 

Tonight I am having only vegetables. 

The 13th of May.

It has been a glorious day, weather-wise. I woke up fairly early but that was okay. I had breakfast here, then took Her by Harriet Lane to The Galley to read while I had two flat whites. Mommy came to show me the stuff she’d bought, then went to get the wheelchair and we bimbled down to the sea to kill time until we met Daddy at The Courtyard Café at one for lunch, I had wild garlic fritters with a poached egg and salad. The coffee came looked good from the outside my but we saw a slice and the crumb structure looked quite tight so we were glad we’d been too full to have any.

This afternoon, we went for a stroll (roll) along the cobb and back, then bought gelato and brought it back to the house to eat on the deck, I had a scoop of chocolate sorbet and one of salted caramel gelato. I had a tiny brain freeze but it was worth it. I stayed out on the balcony for some time, absorbing the warmth through my jeans and suspiciously eyeing any seagull who flew overhead and might have shat on me.

Tomorrow will be packing and having another main meal at lunchtime, but I’m not sure where we’ll go as it’s supposed to chuck it down.

The 14th of May.

Today has been very much an inside day. It absolutely pissed it down for most of the morning, so I’ve been watching TV and sorting stuff for packing. Daddy got me a coffee so I didn’t have to venture out in the wet, and after This Morning, Mommy and I went to get pasties for lunch, as the rain was nearly gone by then and we’ve not had a pasty yet. I had a sweet potato and spinach one which was spicier than I expected, but I coped. My mouth is pathetic.

This afternoon, Mommy and Daddy went out, but I had no inclination to, so I stayed here and made all four of Rufus’ legs. We’ve been trying to decide what to do about food tomorrow as our train from Axminster to London is 12-3 so we’re still not sure how we’re going to work lunch, but we’ll meet Christine and Kim at The O2 at six and have dinner there. I’m so excited!




The 16th of May.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. [Nelson Mandela]

We are back in Lyme. Some of the shops may have changed, but the cobb, the beach and the rolling sea remain very much the same. I was incredibly out of breath, walking from the car to the house, which was not the case last time. It was the summer of 2011, and something magical made my lungs work for a glorious few months. I was wheelchair-free and could go where I pleased. That won’t be the case much this year, no matter how many squats I’ve been doing.

The first thing I did was stand on the balcony and take in the view. You can smell the sea. Tonight we’ve had fish and chips and I am exactly where I need to be.

The 17th of May.

Today was a good day. I had a bit of a weird sleep (the pillows here are super squishy which I am not used to) but I extracted myself from bed at about half nine, sunshine trying to force its way through the curtains.

I spent the morning reading the weekend Guardian and thinking about the fact that I needed coffee. There is a Costa across the road but I really wanted to avoid that if at all possible. I googled “good coffee lyme regis” and found two promising results; one up the hill, one down the hill. I chose the downhill option: Aroma.

Well they make an excellent latte, and I had a really fabulous lunch of a chicken, mozzarella and guacamole with soft herb oil and chilli jam sandwich on granary bread with salad and it was delicious. I had to ask for a spare plate as I couldn’t eat it neatly. I needed more space! But yes it was really good and I’ll definitely be going back. Plus one of the guys working there was vastly amusing so that’s a bonus.

For the rest of the afternoon, I walked down to the cobb and back which took me a good two hours with rests. Now my left hip is hurting a fair bit and I think I might be hobbling tomorrow.

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