Sunday, 25 September 2011

Catch Up

Here goes, a catch up on the week for you. I have been away from home since Tuesday evening so that’s why I didn’t get to write a blog.

After work on Tuesday I came home and packed my stuff then set off for Scotland. It took about 3½ hours to get to Glasgow. The hotel was pleasant enough, T’s room was newly re-furbished, mine wasn’t as new but it was comfortable enough.

On Wednesday morning we had to set off for another hotel a little further along the same road. It was the Annual Brain Tumour Conference, not a “fun” event but I was there to help T with the “Behind The Mask” exhibition. Helping set it up really and answering queries on how Radiotherapy masks are made. I only know how they are made because I sat and watched Steve’s being made. It is the same exhibition, about Brain Tumours and Radiotherapy masks, that was displayed at the Palace of Westminster in March of this year.

Steve and I had decorated radiotherapy masks for the original exhibition and I was surprised and pleased to see Steve’s mask again. I remember him making it. Seeing it brought back a lot of memories as did reading Steve’s explanation of his mask. You can see his mask and what it meant to him on our website.

On Thursday afternoon we packed up and headed off for Edinburgh. I love Edinburgh and Steve did too, he had a special affection for Edinburgh since he worked there many years ago. Steve and I have been quite a few times to Edinburgh for a break, most recently we went for a week in April for his birthday. We did loads whilst we were there, Steve wouldn’t allow his cancer to spoil the break for me or the other friends we were with.

Usually Steve and I would try and stay quite close to the city centre, usually within walking distance. This time the hotel was about 7 miles away from the city centre. Not a huge distance but it was lovely. The place is called The Retreat Castle Hotel. It’s not a large grand castle but very comfortable and quirky. Steve would have loved it, I did too.

The welcome was warm and friendly, even the Peacocks came to say hello as we arrived, and the staff were great too. The food there was more like typical pub fayre as opposed to al a carte fine dining and that suited us perfectly. The bar area was charming and interesting too. The walls and shelves were crammed with all sorts of oddities so it was fun sitting there and just looking around, many of the pieces sparked conversation.

On Friday we spent the day on The Royal Mile, T gave the mobility scooter a proper outing and it seems she was OK but my feet and legs were aching!  T got to see quite a few men in kilts, (much to her delight) including 2 pipers, this is the younger one, the other looked to be around 100!!
The streets of Edinburgh brought back a lot of happy memories of times spent there with Steve
and we even stopped for our lunch at Steve's favourite chippy.
On Friday night we sat for ages talking about things and then on Saturday we checked out as I had to drop T off at a celebration in Livingston. I was supposed to stop for a while with her but as we got there I received a phone call from the owner of the hotel. I had forgotten to hand in my room key; it was still in my pocket! GRRRR! I drove back to Edinburgh to drop the key off and then headed for home.

The drive home was tough. I don’t know why. The only explanation I can think of is that I have only ever been to Scotland with Steve, (apart from with work when I was repping many years ago). The scenery on the way back is distinctive and again it set me off. Driving with tears in your eyes is not good but I didn’t care. I have really missed Steve a lot lately.

On the way home I called in at Larch Cottage Nurseries in Melkinthorpe. A friend had mentioned it to me a long time ago but yesterday it was a convenient stopping place on the way home. It is a lovely place and I think my gardener friends would love it as they had a HUGE outside area just crammed with plants and garden ornaments etc. Many were too big for the average semi but still a fab place and well worth a visit if you are a gardener type or if you want something in particular.
When I got home last night I just relaxed, a bottle of wine and an early night and it was lovely to be back in my own bed.

This morning I went out shopping, I picked up a few Christmas things. I have made a conscious decision not to “cancel” Christmas; I want to but won’t as Steve loved Christmas. I know it will be tough but I also know I can’t avoid it.

Well, it's time for bed now so I'll write more tomorrow. 

xxx Mark xxx

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