Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Second Attempt...

Here goes with another attempt at trying to update my blog from last week, after my short blog last night I am sure you can see my frustration with technology.

Anyway, after I wrote my blog on our anniversary I went to bed, there I cried myself to sleep, I seemed to be crying for hours. I felt alone and lonely, sad the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with has gone. When we said “till death us do part” I had never realised it would come so soon after.

Saturday 15th was pretty uneventful. On Sunday 16th I was supposed to be going out with a friend, a little like the Three Kings he travelled from afar but not with Gold Frankincense and Myrrh but with White wine, Red wine and Mirth. Also, more like a Queen than a King but you get my drift. We were supposed to go and see another friend’s drag show early evening. I was fine in the morning and early afternoon but then it descended on me, like a cloud of gloom, a melancholy mood which I couldn’t shrug so, not wanting to spoil other peoples fun I decided not to go and to go for a drive instead. If I am honest the drive didn’t help but it meant I was alone and not upsetting anyone else with my miserable mug.

Monday was pretty uneventful from what I remember, just work and home as usual but, on Tuesday J arrived, I cooked and we ended up sat till the wee small hours over a few bottles of wine chatting about all sorts, mainly Steve I guess but, my friend doesn’t seem to mind, he understands as he too has lost a loved one tragically way too soon.

On Wednesday it was work as usual during the day but in the evening we hit the town, well, sort of. I got home from work, freshened up and changed as did J, we then headed in to Manchester for dinner before heading off to see Peter Kay and his Tour That Didn’t Tour Show, it was fab, a real laugh and a much needed tonic. Another friend had been bought tickets and was unable to go so they kindly asked if I’d like to go, I said yes and then decided to ask my friend to come too. It was a real giggle. If I am honest I sometimes don’t get the Peter Kay brand of humour which seems to be shout louder and repeat several times but, on Wednesday I did, he was VERY funny and we both enjoyed a good old laugh. I would like to say my laughter wasn’t tempered by thoughts of Steve but it was, I missed him a lot and we spoke of him too during the interval, Steve would however have been pleased to see us out and about. It was an unexpected but very much appreciated night out and as I have already said, a real tonic.

On Thursday we had a viewing on the house so I had to come home from work early to do the show around, she seemed interested but we have heard nothing yet so will take that she has seen somewhere else preferable. Thursday and Friday were quiet apart from that. On Friday I met with a Friend and we headed out for some retail therapy and a chat, it was nice to have a wander about. On Saturday it was much the same, I met with an old friend, we spent the whole day shopping and chatting, our coffee breaks seemed to go on forever as we sat and chatted. Even though we have not seen each other for a long while it was like we saw each other last week, we had a lovely time and again, it was a real tonic to catch up with her.

Last week I also booked tickets to go on the train to see my Sister, her hubby and some friends in November. The train journey is 5 hours but the drive would be the same, the train is cheaper though and it means I can relax on the journey and arrive fresher than if I had driven. It will be nice to see my sister again as I have not seen here since Steve’s funeral, similarly the friends I will see there too, I’ve not seen them since Steve’s funeral. I am really looking forward to it and, I will be stashing a bottle of Gin in my suitcase when I go as I think a few bevies are in order. I didn’t get to see much of them around the time of the funeral so now, five months on, I think it is about time we raised a glass or several to Stephen, to friends and to the future and whatever it may hold.

Sunday was a good day, I spent it being creative and crafty, it was nice to have some me time which was also creative time.

Yesterday was work as usual and Today I left work and headed in to town to the shops, there was something I wanted but alas, the shop is no longer stocking the item, perhaps I will revert to Amazon. Oh, that’s the other thing too, lots of people have already asked me what I want for Christmas. I can’t comment on their planning as I am also well prepared for Christmas. Instead of saying “I don’t know” I have tried to start a “Wish List” on Amazon, just search my name on Amazon and it should be there somewhere, I don’t quite know how it works but I am told it does. As my birthday comes before xmas though I have already said I want to be boring and have cash for that as there is a modification I want done to the car which the money will come in very useful for and it will be the “finishing touch” to the changes I have made so far.

Well, I think I have covered everything now, before I go though I do just want to say a huge thank you to all my friends and family for all their support. Some of you have been supportive without knowing it and others by not doing much other than just being there of making their presence felt. I really do appreciate and thank all our friends, I’d like to think they know who they are.

Friends are like stars.....

You don’t have to see them to know they are there.

Love to you all,

M x

Monday, 24 October 2011


Doh!  I had been writing my blog to catch up but, received a "whats app" message from a friend in hospital so have prioritised that and have managed to lose my message... Grr!  that will teach me for leaving it so long and trying to update many days at once.  You know who you are friend.... and I know you read too so it's your fault there is not a lot to read... sort of.

Well I am going to sign off for tonight and will try again tomorrow, I hope my friend is better (ie out of hospital) soon.

xXx M xXx

Friday, 14 October 2011

Second blog of the day. Happy Anniversary ? ? ?

Yes, this is a second blog because to add it on to my previous one just would not do it justice.

You may have guessed from the title today is anniversary.  Not a happy anniversary but memories of happier times with the one person I have loved more than anything or anyone else in the world.

I hope wherever you are Stephen that you are at peace, free from pain and worry and illness.  I love you more and more with each passing hour, the pain cuts deeper and my heart feels heavier with each passing day.  You were the best thing that ever happened to me, you made every day with you a happy one, even when we disagreed you still managed to make me smile and I have never been able to be annoyed at you for long, your smile, your cheeky look, your sparkly eyes and your tender touch could make any troubles disappear, I wish you were here to do that now.

On this day in 2006 we became one, joined in the eyes of the law, of our family and of our friends.  You said it was the happiest day of your life, a life cut short but a life which touched so many.  I've lit some candles for you and us tonight.  Not a romantic night in but I know you loved our candlelit nights in.

You've not been far from my thoughts since you passed, this week has been tough and today especially so. I keep smiling though, I don't want to but I know many find my feelings, thoughts and emotions too much to deal with, for them I smile, I spare them the discomfort and hide it from the world, not just today but every day for many weeks now.

It has been nice to come home today, back to our home.  I know we had planned to go away this weekend, just escape, the two of us, similar to how we did last year.  I remember this weekend last year, getting away to the countryside, no phone signal, an open log fire and plenty of time to talk.  Those are happy memories, not a great time because we already had a hint of what may be, but, you smiled and stayed positive and never gave up.  You loved the simple things, a walk in the bracing winds, dodging the puddles or wiping the rain from your glasses, the weather never dampened your spirits or your zest for life and I try to keep that in mind to stay happy for you.

I saw this pebble a while ago, thought of you and bought it but it has heightened meaning and sentiment today.  I have also been very thoughtful this week about hope.  you never gave up hope, it stayed with you and with us to the very end.  I am learning to hope again.  Hoping for a brighter future, hoping I can learn to live with this pain and hoping that wherever you are you are safe and at peace.
I have noticed this week that Hope is your legacy to me, it is the one thing you have shown me and taught me which will always be with me, no matter how little money I have, how dark the days are or how long the nights are, it will always be there.  I saw this "token" on my first day in Cardiff and bought it,  I am seeing the hope around me.  Hopes for life, for a future and for a new beginning and for that I thank you.
I have re read you blog (click here) tonight from this day last year.  I was so proud of you then and still am.  The sign is still in the house in the same place you decided to put it where it would cheer you up every morning and give you a spark to light the fire that kept you driving forward.  I know I will "get there" eventually, in the meantime though I am continuing your blog. You are still an inspiration to many and even within the last few weeks I have had feedback from people who have found your journey an inspiration and comfort to them, in particular your approach to your treatment. 

Once again Happy Anniversary Stephen, thank you for the good times, you will be in my heart forever.

Till we meet again, 831 Pud xxx (Click here)

First blog of the day, another coming later

I thought it best to update on the week before I move on to today. My motivation will become clear once the second post is uploaded later.

After a few drinks on Tuesday night I decided on Wednesday to go for a wander to Cardiff Bay and take the camera as there's some interesting sights there. I set off relatively early and caught the train to the bay. I wandered around for a while with the camer, time seemed to whizz past. At lunchtime I decided to call in to a pub I used to go to years ago when I worked in Cardiff Bay, The Eli Jenkins. Well what a mistake that was. In the 10 minutes I was there I was ignored by BOTH the bar staff but the final straw was a comment directed at me, (as I had been viewing the menu and was waiting to buy a drink and order food), where the barmaid shouted across the bar to her colleague "well I ain't doing food till twelve!", I looked at my watch, it was 11.59. The pub had been open from 10.00am so it's not like I was the only person in there as a few groups were already sat at tables chatting etc. Needless to say I turned and left. I also submitted a complaint online to the brewery later the same day, atrocious service and appalling attitude would be my complaint in summary.

Later the gays collected me and we drove up to the Pumping Station, an antiques centre with all sorts of curiosities. Steve loved it there too because it was so random. After that we hades out the the coast, a trip to Porthcawl. It was shut. Was looked around the town centre and the most interesting thing has to have been the street art, it was grey and damp.

After that we returned to Cardiff and to the hotel. I ended up opting out of dinner in the evening as my feet were sore from walking so much and my shoes had rubbed my feet too. I popped out to a takeaway for food and also to the off licence for a bottle of wine and then headed back to the hotel. It was nice to chill. Later though the gays arrived back with two more bottles of wine and chocolate. We sat and chatted for a while, they were quite merry and ended up with hangovers on Thursday morning.

Thursday I got up and headed out to the park. I walked for hours around the park, stopping briefly to take pictures of squirrels, it was interesting seeing them playing and chasing each other. They were not tame enough to come very close but they didn't run and hide.Time flew past and before I knew it it was 3pm so I headed back to the hotel to drop off my camera then headed out for food.  I bumped in to the gays who had also had a relaxing day doing very little.  We agreed to meet later for a beer so, by 5pm we were sat comfortably on the roof terrace of one of Cardiff's gay bars, it was happy hour, it was happy hour until 9pm so we stayed there to make the most of the happiness. From there we called in to Dorothy's chippy, (Steve and I visited Dorothy's once every time we came to Wales).  From there we went on to another of Cardiff's gay bars and had a few more drinks before heading back to the hotel just after midnight.  The gays needed their beauty sleep and had to get up early this morning to go and queue for their new iPhone 4S.  After bagging their phones they joined me for breakfast and now we're zooming back up the motorway to home.  I think they are both excited about getting their new phones set up. Well I will write another blog later today Xxx Mark xxX

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The expedition continues

Here I am again with another early blog. Yep, I got up early this morning and trundled off to the train station. I decided to make a trip on the train back to where I used to live. It was an odd feeling.

That's not bad considering I was up until late last night. I left the restaurant after dinner, (I opted for Italian in the end) and headed off to the oldest gay bar in Cardiff, The Golden Cross. I wouldn't have usually but I wasn't ready for bed so a few vodkas and then I set off for the hotel and bed.

This morning I got off the train at Hengoed and then walked down to Ystrad Mynach where I stopped for breakfast and a coffee. From there I got back on the train to Caerphilly.

There I decided to get some flowers and visit my grandparents. My grandfather died in 1986 and my grandmother in 1993 so there wasn't a lot of conversation but I felt I needed to go.

It was tough being there but, crying at the graveside for relatives that died 18 and 25 years ago was therapeutic I think. I certainly do feel better for it and I suppose I am hoping they are looking after Steve for me and the flowers are a small thank you. It would also have been my Grandmothers 78th birthday on Friday, the same day as Steve and I would have celebrated being married for 5 years. Isn't it funny how life gets in the way of plans.

From there u wandered around Caerphilly, hoping for a break in the weather so I could get the camera out. It didn't come. I headed back to Cardiff.

It was still raining so I went to the museum, I can't remember the last time I went but it was interesting.

After that I headed back to the hotel for a rest but after a short nap and a brew I went for a walk around the castle park. It was lovely and nice to see the autumnal colours, I love the reds, oranges and browns of the leaves at this time of year. I took a few pictures and will add them here when I get home as iProducts don't support photo uploads to blogger.

Tonight I have been to the bay for dinner with the gays, we had a wander round and are now visiting drinking establishments frequented by homosexual brethren, till tomorrow xxx M xxx

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 10 October 2011


That's what I have decided it is. There are so many on offer, some warm and friendly some not so. Some over grand and some so plain you'd feel like just the next on a long conveyor belt. Then there is the choice as to which nationality you go for. English seems unimaginative, Italian too predictable, Indian or Chinese perhaps not socially acceptable and then there are so many other Europeans on offer too. What am I talking about? Restaurants of course and, over and above that, dining alone. Tonight I have found myself walking around looking for the place that was just busy enough. I don't want empty, I simply do not need the attention but, the same can be said for a busy place, I don't want to be the only single diner in the place, an obvious "Single" I just wanted somewhere with people around where I could sit. I have my iPad and my blog for company so yes, that's why you are getting two updates in one day. I know I am not the first person to dine alone and won't be the last but it is the first time I have been conscious of having to dine alone. Conscious of being a widower and conscious of how much my life has had to change. No matter how much people say, "Stephen is always with you" I still do not have anyone to talk to across this dining table tonight. I am not sure what tomorrow will bring, I might get up early and go out with the camera. Who knows? After my 'wobble' earlier today I have felt more than a little thoughtful. When I got back to the hotel earlier I slept for a while hoping this cloud of grief would lift. It hasn't. hopefully the wine will help. Until next time, M x

Cardiff, some old some new

Well, here I am sat in a bar in Cardiff, it's been a little bit of a surprise to say the least as Cardiff has changed so much since I was here last in 2009. We stopped off in Caerphilly yesterday on our way, it was mainly closed but it still seems odd to be somewhere which is so familiar but still so strange to me. After that my memory was well and truly tested as we tried to find an old favourite pub hidden well within the country lanes atop Caerphilly mountain. We found it in the end and had a lovely meal. The pub is a favourite as it is warm and cosy and has real open fires. Steve loved it there too when we visited last. When we got to Cardiff it was difficult to navigate around the roads as a few streets have been blocked or pedestrianised and others have become one way streets etc but we finally managed to park and check in. We trundled off to the local gay scene early evening. Again there were changes as some bars have shut, others opened but again, all seemed familiar yet not so. It was also odd hearing the accent, I struggled to understand a few people too which was odd. We were pleasantly surprised at how cheap some of the beer was though, just £1.50 for a vodka & coke too so we could have got wasted..... But didn't! We were greeted by some real hospitality just after we checked in the the hotel. We took the life to our floor and shared it with two women, both mid 30's I'd say but there was them and us 3 guys in the lift. Within the space of a minute or two, (however long it takes to travel a few floors), we had been offered sex! They were not "working girls" but were certainly high spirited. I of course declined, I think the others may have too but, I think one of them was secretly chuffed at being mistaken for a straight guy! It certainly made us smile. Today I have spent a lot of the morning browsing the shops and the Victorian Arcades which Cardiff is so famous for. Again some familiar some not so. I have just stopped for lunch and to sort something for 'T' and also to collect my thoughts. Just a few hours ago I was consumed by an overwhelming feeling of grief. I struggled to hold back the tears, not a great look when out shopping. I was looking at Christmas decorations, I have been for a few weeks now and have been fine but today the grief got me. I have decided this year the tree will be decorated with hearts and tartan. Hearts to represent love for Steve and tartan just because we both loved it, loved Scotland and it is traditional and cheery. There will be no star or angel on top, my star and angel is somewhere around me. Signing off for now xxx M xxx

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A half week update

You seem to be getting updates every few days now.  I will eventually get back in to the swing of it I guess.  Lets start with Thursday. Firstly the same day last year had been Steves first visit to Christies hospital. Here is his blog, click here I remember the visit and I remember how nervous he was, I was too but I kept him calm.  The hospital is quite pleasant really, not like a general hospital, it felt more friendly.  Steve just accepted everything that was told to him but, on this visit we were also asked about "harvesting sperm" just in case Steve wanted children after his treatment.   We explained that gays have still not evolved into child bearing creatures, the nurse giggled and, although we understood she was asking a serious question we politely told her that children had never been a consideration for us.   Anyway, this Thursday as I said I went to see Top Hat with my Mum.  It was a good show.  Not the same as a musical but really good and Tom Chambers who was in Come Dancing played the male lead.  Top Hat was filmed in 1935 and starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, a classic black and White film.  Apart from anything else it was nice to go out with my Mum. Friday was an ok sort of day.  Work was  busy and stressful, I am conscious that my attention span is still less than it used to be and constant distractions from people in the office and others coming in and out of the office only distract me more so all in all it is annoying me.  I guess I will get back to how I was eventually. On the same day last year Steve had been to have the first part of his mask made for his radiotherapy treatment.  He was nervous about it as he was a little claustrophobic but I was there with him in the room which made him feel more relaxed and afterwards he said it hadn't been anywhere near as bad as he feared it might have been, see what he said click here http://troubleblogging.blogspot.com/2010/10/another-day-over.html Friday evening I popped to the shops, I needed to collect a gift I had order for my Sister for Christmas but when I got there it had not arrived.  I called the order line to check on dispatch date and was told it had been delivered and signed for at my home address!  There was me collecting from store and they had sent it to home.  It was there when I got in.  There's not a lot of stuff to buy now for Xmas which is good.  I might start wrapping soon... Woo! I spent Friday evening curled up on the sofa with a bottle of wine.  It was nice to chill but of course it's then that I miss having Steve around to snuggle up to. Saturday was a busy day.  I got up and relaxed for a bit then went to do my ironing ready for my next gay road trip.  As I'm travelling with friends and they have quite a small car I needed to pack smart and take as little as possible.  I think I managed ok. In the afternoon I got showered and then went out to see another friend I have not seen for some time.  It was good to catch up.  He's due to move soon so he took me to see the new place too.  It looks nice, it's a 1 bed flat but is a really good size and looks like it's in a nice quiet area.  I'll see him again when I get back. On this day last year Steve had been to Christies for an MRI scan.  I had a meeting I couldn't get out of with a friend about a bid she was submitting.  I met Steve later in the day, I remember the feeling of relief seeing him after he had been out alone for the day.  I would never have worried before but he had never had Cancer before.  Here's his blog http://troubleblogging.blogspot.com/2010/10/today-has-been-good-day.html It was tough for me to adjust to the realisation I couldn't wrap Steve in cotton wool and protect him.  I am not sure he ever realised how tough it was to do but I did it.  I hope he didn't notice how much i worried, if he did though he didn't let on.  I vehemently defended his independence when others told him he can't or shouldn't and I know he did appreciate that.  He wanted to live his life as normal as possible, that was truly inspirational to me and many others. Last night, after visiting my friend I popped to the supermarket and picked up a few bits before heading home.  I made a delicious meal and supped a bottle of wine watching X  Factor and meddling with my iPad.  I trundled off to bed at a reasonable time, well, just before 1am.   This morning I got up, packed my bag, bundled my eBay stuff ready to go tomorrow, got ready, had breakfast and waited to be collected.  We set off around 10.30 for our big gay road trip to Wales. Steve and I booked this trip in February for us and two friends.  It was a gift for them for birthday and wedding anniversary, we are staying in the centre of Cardiff for 5 nights and head home on Friday 14th.  For Steve and I it was a chance to be tourists as well as for me to meet up with some old friends. The reason we wanted to head home on 14th was because it is our wedding anniversary.  This year would have been our 5th.  We were planning on booking in to a hotel nearer to home for 14th and 15th so we had some time out alone.... Instead I will just be alone. This is the last trip I need to make that Steve and I had planned together.  The only other things I still have left to do that were planned with Steve is wrap and deliver the Christmas presents we had already bought.  Steve never stopped looking forward and planning for our future, he and we lived every minute of his last nine months from diagnosis to death to the best we could. I have read Steve's blog again this morning from this day last year, t seems we had a lie in last year, not this year though, here's what he had to say about this day last year, http://troubleblogging.blogspot.com/2010/10/sleeping-in.html Right now I'm sat in the car typing this.  I like not driving, it means I can make more use of my travel time!  Hope to catch you soon, Mark x

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, Cry and you get wet...

Firstly here is Steve's blog entry for this day lats year, (Click Here) Sorry if you don't want to see what he wrote last year but right now there are a lot of anniversaries and I think seeing how Steve was 12 months ago really puts things into context.  Remember he was the one living with a death sentence, not me but, despite that he has given me (and may readers of his blog who messaged privately), inspiration and strength to carry on.

I am still reminded every day about the positive impact Steve has had on my life, I love him so much for that.  He has shown me happiness I never imagined but he has also introduced me to friends I may never have known, to their love which I may never have felt and has helped me realise my own strength of character which I never knew existed.

Today has been an OK sort of day.  I don't mention work much not because it is good, bad or indifferent but because they monitor and read my posts.  I know how I feel about that and I am sure each person reading will have views too but this blog is not about them or where I work etc it is about me, for once it is all about me.  Well, not really, Steve features greatly too.

On a personal note I have had a reasonable few days.  I have made contact with some old friends, made some new ones and generally I feel I am slowly re-constructing a life around myself.  I don't think a lottery win would make it happen sooner but the £100M Euromillions jackpot on Friday would be fab, there are so many charities I would help, I reckon I could "lose" half at least and not miss it.

Tomorrow night I may not get to blog, I am off to the theatre with Mother to see "Top Hat".  I saw it advertised some time ago, I mentioned it to a friend and we said it would be nice to go but never got around to booking.  Mother mentioned it last week so I managed to get tickets earlier this week.  Feathers, Sequins, Tailcoats and Top Hats  reminds me of Steve and I or, should I say, Enid and Bobbie....

Looking at this picture though has reminded me of another "Tailcoat and Top Hat" picture...

There aren't any better ones of the two of us in this garb but again seeing the corset reminded me of another occasion we wore the corsets
This was MANY years ago for a friend's 40th Birthday, the birthday "boy" is in the middle

There are SO many happy memories crammed in to the relatively short time we were together and each and every one makes me smile.  Today, or rather, this evening, has made me smile a lot.  Chatting to a friend this evening too has made me smile.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  Steve is showing me the way, guiding me toward happier times. Thank you Steve, Thank you family, Thank you friends.

Goodnight for now xxxx Mark xxxx

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The first day of the rest of his life...

Thats what this day last year was for Steve, he was determined to live his life to the fullest and that commenced on October 4th.  It was a good day for him, read his blog, (Click here)

The story that fits around this though highlights how happy he actually was on that day.  For as long as I had known Steve he had never been able to find his birth certificate.  He knew it was safe somewhere but he had no idea where, even though he had searched for it many times.

When I returned from work on 4th October 2010 Steve was VERY excited.  "I've had a sign" he said.  I had no idea what he was on about but he explained.

Whilst sorting through some papers, getting rid of the old stuff and making way for his new life he found his Birth Certificate.  It had been missing for years and there it was, amongst some old papers.  He waved his certicficate at me and was SO pleased.  It really was the first day of the rest of his life. 

He died just 9 months later.  Someone pointed out to me around the time of the funeral that it takes 9 months for a child to be born from conception, (I did go to biology lessons but some people like to remind us of the obvious), perhaps the nine months from finding his certificate was significant of a new start and a new life in a better place.  Who knows?

I know I am still missing him a huge amount, I manage to smile and function as a member of society and as a member of the workplace, functioning as a son, a brother, a friend and a colleague but, it is just that, functioning.  I'm getting used to it though.  I accept my life may never feel "whole" again.

I chatted tonight with a friend about someone we care about.  In a similar situation to me but being judged for grasping at happiness and dating.  It wasn't planned but, being judged for being human and acknowledging feelings  is wrong.  I might be in a similar position one day.  I am not looking for anyone else but I also know fate will deliver whatever it has planned for me.  I just hope in the meantime that Steve can influence the "chosen one".  Either way I am sure there will be plenty said behind my back and less said to my face.  Lets just see what happens eh.....

Goodnight for now xxx

Monday, 3 October 2011

Getting organised and trying to smile

I guess I should update on last week firstly. On Thursday as you know if you read regularly it was 12 months to the day since Steve was given his diagnosis. It was a tough day but I was kept busy so it sort of distracted me. Work was very busy and at night I went to the comedy night I mentioned some weeks ago in my blog.

It’s an annual event and Steve and I had tickets for last year, Steve didn’t go in the end as the event was the night after his surgery but he had insisted I go. It was a good night both last year and this. This year I did end up spending part of it with tears rolling down my face, just little things which reminded me of Steve again. I guess there will be more things like that to trigger me off for a long time to come.

Friday was an OK day. Work wasn’t great but, in part, it is because I am really not “with it”, my mind is obviously on other things. After work I went home but then decided to go out to the shops as I needed to get a few things. I got home around 7ish and spent most of the evening sitting and talking to my parents. I was too tired to blog and again, not really with it. I didn’t even put my computer on.

On Saturday I got up and decided to clean the car. I spent a while polishing it and then vacuumed it and made a few adjustments by changing the interior bulbs from the standard white to blue. That in itself sounds like an easy job but it was fiddly and involved me spending quite some time trying to resolve an issue and resulted in me having to take the door apart and take the inner panel off but, I was satisfied with the end result so that’s OK.

In the afternoon a friend called around so, after I had a shower we headed out to Botany Bay, a local place which is a garden centre but also has some artisan stalls, gifts and accessories etc. I bought a few Christmas decorations, I know it is early but I am being organised. I’m not going mad with decs this year but I have to still “do” Christmas as Steve would have wanted it, he loved the way I do Christmas and I loved seeing him so excited.

Saturday night I ended up getting some food and wine and taking that round to a friends house. We sat and chatted for ages and allegedly supped 4 bottles of wine. I didn’t see the empties so because I am not a boozer I would insist we only shared 1 bottle…. I wonder how many people would believe me?

On Sunday I was late getting up. No hangover I was just tired as I got home after 2am and then had to make the bed as I had stripped it on Saturday morning so I was late getting to sleep.

I chilled at home yesterday morning and then headed out to the shops later in the afternoon. I did a little Christmas shopping, it was quite nice really to be out and about and I only ended up getting a few Christmas things as I don’t need anything for myself. I even bought a prezzie for a friends birthday later this year, I’ve just realised too my Sister’s birthday is before that so I should look for something for her too, another excuse to go shopping.

Last night I sat and looked through the things I have bought already, a lot of things that I bought with Steve too as he also liked to be organised. I just hope people like them. We try hard to get thoughtful gifts but sometimes I wonder if it would just be more appreciated if we bought the same old thoughtless tat that seems to fill the shops at Christmas.

Today I have been at work. It’s been a tough day really but I have managed to stay focussed. This time last year we were living with the aftermath of telling Steve’s parents and our wider circle of friends about Steve’s diagnosis. Steve’s blog entry for last year said “Today has become my hat day”. Because he knew he would lose his hair with Chemo and Radiotherapy he decided to buy hats as he would be bald in winter. Steve accumulated a few hats at this time but he mainly wore the same few.

He had planned that Monday 4th October would be the first day of the rest of his life, more about that tomorrow but for now I’m going to sign off.

Bye for now