Moving soon…

12 Feb

Just a quick note that this content will soon be moving away from (which is a domain I’m closing down) and will instead by available at

I always thought I’d blog more, and in ways I do miss it, but I think a blog needs to have a focus rather than “just my life” – Facebook has pretty much taken that part away. My time with cancer was much bigger than social media could ever capture though, and so I will certainly be keeping this content available for years to come.

But no longer at the old address – update bookmarks to !


In sickness and in health

17 Sep

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Australia as long as we have, coming up to 3 years now. In many ways, it’s been head down and get on with things, but more and more it’s becoming head up and what are we actually doing exactly ?

One part of this has been focus on good health – both for us and any potential new additions to our lives down the line. We have gone pretty full-on with this, quitting all caffiene and alcohol for starters. But we’ve also picking up some dietary improvements, like no sugar, no dairy, and limited grains. It’s all 80/20 (we’re allowed a meal off now and then), but still quite a big change.

A month in, and mixed feelings. I certainly have fewer caffiene slumps, and missing out on Friday beers is both a social shame, but also a boon to keeping the weight loss going – I had my first glimpse of the 15 stone something range last week !

But also as part of this lifestyle / health overhaul, it was noted once again that a few of my blood levels are still quite low – possibly as they always have been, but the chemo of years back gave them another big knock – that being my white blood cell, iron and platlet counts. Having had this confirmed, my body then pulled off a big placebo trick, and I promptly fell sick with a cold – of which this is day three and I’m still struggling to recover.

I guess it took three days out of “daily life” for me to get to the point of actually writing a blog post again ! Might be the first one I’ve written in many years without a nice cup of tea at my side – of all the things, I think I miss Darjeeling tea the most (sorry beer). But much that is psychological, right now, as when I’m not sick I do feel energised enough during the day without tea or the occasional sugar hit. And my running has (had) been going pretty well; 2 x 8km and a ~12km weekend run each week. Think there will a tough run later this week as I get back into it – always hurts more after a small break.

So that’s me right now. Will be back in the UK over xmas, so look forward to seeing some friends and family then. And maybe that 80/20 rule might have to come closer to 50/50, at least for a few days.

A much needed break

23 Feb

Hi all,

Felt a mini-update in order, although truth be told almost everything that used to be  blogging fodder ends up on Facebook now – it’s pretty much what it was designed for !

That said, it did seem noteworthy that Mimi and I took our first “proper” holiday since our Honeymoon. Yes, I know we went back the UK, but those holidays were not very good holidays for “us” (e.g. spending time just the two of us). So we were pretty thrilled to get a voucher from a friend for a weekend in the hunter valley at a health retreat – Tai Chi, exercise, no alcohol / caffeine and lovely, healthy food. Not too many pictures from there, as moblle phones (our cameras !) are not permitted outside of villas. Having escape the bleeps and the poisons, we then went down to Sydney and had a quick “re-tox” session, having some great meals with friends and Mimi’s cousins out there. We also watched the entire Indiana Jones trilogy again during that time – random, but awesome.

Photos on my equally neglected smugmug site

28+ Children later

12 Jul

Ok, this is the “photo post” of our trip back to the UK (see prev. post) – you can also view the whole album online.

Our trip started at home, where we got to see our nephew Charley, and our nieces Liv and Izzy


Then time to catch up with our Reading friends, with little Belle and Finn


Next, to the North to visit James and Kit


A family gathering allowed us to finally meet our cousins’ babies, Jack, Gus and Zach. And non-baby Oscar, of course.


Then to London to meet Felix, Isobel, Christopher, Natasha, Orson, Sorrel and Alice


And another Reading catch up with Brummie-based James

A quick visit to Greece (for Mimi) let her see Thomas and Themis


And a picnic saw Sebastian, Gruff, Max and Cleo, along with a brunch with Maddie, Thomas and Caitlin. And there were also sightings of Ella, baby George and brand new baby Arabella at weddings, but for all these kids we didn’t manage to take any pictures somehow (D’oh).

All in all, 28 (or just over) kids in 28 days. It was… exhausting 🙂

Uk trip 2012

6 Jul

Composing this in the first, decent hour of spare time during our 2012 trip to the UK, it occurs to me we’ve been quite busy, and I feel quite tired !

Over 28 days we’ve met around 28 children, all of whom have made us laugh, cry, coo and ultimately tire us out. On top of that lots of “hello goodbye” moments with friends – I tried to narrow my focus a little this time to ensure I got a bit more time with people, but as always the time was too few, and sometimes much of the heartfelt chat comes in the “nice to see you” email afterwards ! The perils of trying to have adult conversations around 2 year old dictators 🙂

It may take a while to absorb the last 3 weeks, so expect another post with pictures (culled down to 322, so far – that’s down from 600+ though…) – I suspect those photos will mainly be of interest to those I’ve met, 90% of them being babies in cute / funny poses with adult friends and family thrown in too. I guess I’m in a few photos along with the Mrs too, so perhaps there is a limited interested to others, if only to see how my “full, yet trimmed” beard look turned out (thrilling).

One thing has become clear though – this is the “reboot” holiday. As I mentioning in my previous post, we are ready to “restart” Australia, give it another go. This time, with our own place, our own car and our own space. Looking forward to being able to attend more socials without dashing off for an early bus, inviting people over for dinner / movies and hopefully being able to get into new habits and patterns with a little mindfulness applied well.

4 more days to go, a few more dinners and vists and then we fly home, and for me, straight into work :O

Australia: rebooted

15 May

Next weekend will be hard and gruelling. And I’m really happy about it – because next weekend we move house! Finally or renovations are finalising, flooring is down and we are in a position to move into our new apartment.

We’ve also been battling some hectic work schedules these past few weeks; Mimi is running evening focus groups  and will be out of state next week, and I’ve been trying to finish off two side-projects for extra cash and to clear my plate for mid-June. By then we should be semi-nested and ready for our four week holiday back in the UK.

Another milestone is my three years clear mark on my cancer recovery. On July 1st I will be out of chemotherapy for there full years, and after last weeks scan, certified still clear of cancer. Statistically this is quite significant – most recurrences of my strain of cancer happen within that period. So I’ll be looking forward to raising a few glasses on this anniversary. Still have annual checkups ahead of me, for which I’m glad ! But I can certainly go forward with the next stage of our lives with greater confidence that this is behind me.

The last year and a bit have been mixed, and not all bad, but I know that a great weight is slowly being lifted now as we look forward to getting a lot more of our lives and independence back.

The world will begin in 2012

4 Mar

Today we start our fourth house sit during the last few months. Seeking a break from living with the in-laws, and the doldrums that our renovations were stuck in, we are staying up in the classy suburb of North Fitzroy and enjoying a day doing nothing – out of choice, for the wife, out of a lack of choice for me 😦 I’m hoping things pick up a bit more socially this year, but truth be told have made little effort so far.

ImageAnother joy of house sitting is looking after pets – we have a gorgeous kitty to look after again, who has once again reminded us today of her true animal nature by trying to bring us a (live) gift. Lots of water spray, a smacked bottom and a short spell shut in the living room have left her quite sulky – but suspect she’ll be back for some affection soon. We are being aloof; can’t see it lasting. God knows where the mouse got to – I’m kind of rooting for the cat to find it now. Yep, now I have a cat’s head on my wrist – suspect finishing this post is going to be tricky…

The renovation doldrums may end soon, as we have found a new builder to complete the work for us. We await a few quotes from his subcontractors this week, but suspect unless the cost is absurd we’ll go with him. He seems very professional, and responsive; both good signs, we believe ! More on that as it happens, but in short, suspect we’ll be throwing money in large sums here to get our lives back.

So that leaves March as a somewhat frugal time ! Trying to curtail extra spending – February was quite decadent with my birthday, our anniversary, valentines and booking flights to the UK in June. Also trying to focus solidly on weight loss – have managed three runs a week for the last fortnight, and hope to keep that up over the next few months. Looking forward in April then to some good shows as part of Melbourne Comedy Festival, and maybe another frugal month in May to spend our money in the UK in June – the Aussie dollar still seems crazy strong right now, and having suffered the bad part of that last year, it might be nice to have a turn with the good part of that this year.