I'm still here!


So I haven't blogged for a little while. I haven't forgotten you, or not wanted to write, quite the opposite actually. 
As I explained last time I've got so many things that I want to write about but got really bogged down with the order to write so they made sense, thoughts and hopes etc that I wasn't clear about and therefore couldn't explain to myself let alone you, life stuff going on and just too much to get out. Something I have learnt about myself last year is that I get overwhelmed sometimes by the trivial little things and when I do my brain gets panicky and then presses what I imagine to be the panic button which basically shuts down all previous thoughts, conversations etc until I'm ready to try again. So anyway I feel a bit more capable to write again now. It might not be ground breaking or make huge amounts of sense but I'm here trying so please forgive the chaos until I've written enough posts to have cleared my head... Maybe I need a blog post book so I can write out ideas?! Hmmmm

Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely festive period, Christmas, new year, just spending time off work, family/friend/pet time, basically whatever you did I hope you enjoyed it. As I explained in my last post, I had a very nice Christmas, more the lead up than the actual day but still I can't complain. 
Sadly I learnt that a transplant friend of mine passed away on Boxing Day. She knew it was coming and enjoyed Christmas Day with her family around her and died at home where she wanted to be. I met Jane and her husband David a couple of years ago at Transplant clinic, it's a very open feel to clinic and you can often find yourself talking to fellow patients. Jane and David were so friendly and my dad who never talks to anyone (!) always chatted to David about the journeys to the hospital etc, while mum and I mattered to Jane. Clinics can be extremely draining mentally and physically but these little chats and friendships really make a huge difference to the day. Friendships develop to exchanging numbers and visiting if each other get kept on the ward, bringing treats etc. I always looked forward to the day if I knew Jane would be there, and I was gutted to realise she won't be again. Jane and her family are incredibly strong people, and with it, caring, kind, selfless, thoughtful, brave, family driven people. I know she wouldn't want me to be upset but I am although I'm trying to listen to what I know she would have told me (to get out and do things because I'm able to). My love will always be with her and her family who are just amazing people.

I also heard this week that a friend from my drama course last year, suffered a heart attack and after a short stay in critical care passed away at the weekend. It was a shock to all of the group as David was such a joyful prescence. Never afraid to do something embarrassing, loved Shakespeare, and a real father figure of the group. David we will miss you. 

So as you can see ive had a bit of a rough start to 2016 although there has also been a lot of positives too. Last year was quite a difficult one and the start of a new year is always a bit of a rough one for me but I see this as quite positive that I'm at least aware enough to know it and anticipate it. It's been really difficult to sort my head and emotions from various things from this year, Christmas, ladt year, the future that are in a tangled jumble in my brain. 
Although I have to admit now I've started to get it out I do feel a little better. One of the big positives of 2015 was to start writing my blog again so I definitely want to keep it up. I think keeping a diary with ideas for posts might be a really good plan. But as always I'm more than happy to hear what you'd like to read so please make suggestions! 
Coming up you should look forward to....
The amazing chocolate tasting I did before Christmas
Recent hospital visit and my visit to ICU to try and get over my fears from there
New Years thoughts and resolutions
Medications I take as I know you've asked for that (there are so many it's a question of how to arrange it!) x


Christmas! Slightly later than planned

So, I was going to be all organised before Christmas and write about 3 blog posts to schedule. But then I was swamped with orders for my business, dates to see friends, recovery time from being busier and present wrapping, so it never happened. 

You will get the blogs eventually but please forgive the slightly jumbled and late posts. 

Ooh I should also say that I was in New magazine before Christmas (the issue with Vicky from Geordie shore on the cover in case there's any still knocking around). The photo of me is not my best, they had much nicer to choose from! But had good responses to it and thought I'd let you know in case you want to read.

As I've explained in other blogs, Christmas is a big deal to me. I've been trying to push myself a bit more to go out and do the things I enjoy in the lead up because I've missed out many years and because you never know what's round the corner. 
Firstly I met with a friend to go to a chocolate workshop which was brilliant! I'm not going into details as I plan to write a full blog post because I'd highly recommend it. 

 I met my theatre-fan friend and we went to dinner and to see Piaf. After getting hopelessly lost (I'm known for doing this constantly) I finally found the VQ diner near Tottenham Court Road and it was brilliant. First of all the waiters were just about to come and look for me outside and were very happy to know I had actually found the restaurant! The food and staff were brilliant. I had a salad and it was delicious but there were a good few gluten free options. The diner is open 24 hours a day so they must work long hours with plenty of drunk guests etc but the staff were so nice, attentive without intruding and I will definitely be going back .... Now I know where it is! 
We then went to the theatre and I must admit, I knew nothing about the show or Edith Piaf as a person. The show was incredible, some amazing talent, the cast was small, playing several roles, playing various instruments and singing. I love going to the theatre and being surprised and really buzzed which is how I felt when I left. Highly recommended.

The following week my parents and I went to the Southbank Christmas market. It disappears soon after Christmas Day so I really didn't want to miss it. They had some cute stalls with gift type things as well as mulled wine and cider.

Then they had a whole section for food. I was so so impressed by the amount of gluten free food on offer, much more than I expected. I ended up going for curry. I never usually eat curry, not interested. This was divine. Honestly so tasty, not too spicy, over delicious chips. I went back to tell them how lovely it was, really nice people too. I've literally been craving it ever since. If you go, you need to try it, you will not regret it! Bring me some while you're at it.....

We then grabbed a river boat and headed down to Greenwich. Sadly we didn't think this through and the usually busy market was a bit of a ghost town on a Monday but still had lovely lights and chance to have a look in a few places. I also saw a couple of friends to give gifts etc which was lovely. 
I was literally still baking christmas orders on Christmas Eve so by the big day, I have to admit I was tired and I think working right up to Christmas took the specialness away a little. I still had a lovely day. Mum made a delicious dinner as always and we paid the usual toast to my donor and all the friends I miss. I got some lovely presents and it was great to chill out in the evening in my new pjs and relax a bit. 
Boxing Day was a visit to see my aunt and cousins and their children which was lovely. I was still not feeling great so we didn't stay too long but we did do some presents, and my cousin Emma and I ended up playing with the kids Fuseball table which we both got way too excited about and then made the dubious decision that whoever let in a goal should do a shot......

I think that's all I'm going to say for now, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that wishing you a fabulous 2016. Apologies for lack of recent blogs but I will explain more next time and will be (hopefully) posting fairly regularly with the post ideas I haven't yet blogged! Better late than never and all that! 


My Christmas Tree!

I'm So, as you know I'm a big fan of Christmas. Not even the actual day so much as the lead up and meet ups with friends, decorations, festivities etc.

When I was at my illness I used to find this time of year so difficult. Desperately wanting to be involved but not even being able to decorate our tree I was so weak. I bought a full size xmas tree for my bedroom because I spent so long there and barely saw the tree downstairs. 

Now I'm better I still have to rein myself in a bit or I get exhausted! But I remember and cherish every year that I get to do all the things that I couldn't manage and would never manage again. 

So I thought I would share with you my Christmas tree, fully decorated by me! My room is very small but I still manage to squeeze in the full size tree and who cares if I get a few bruises from there being a little less space! 

I have no theme for my tree it's made up of ornaments that all mean something to me and I am terrible for adding to my collection! That said, there is a sort of theme....glitter! I do love a bit of sparkle.

These are a few of my favourites that I'll randomly talk about. So the treble clef is for my love of all things musical and singing (plus it's super sparkly!). Plus it's more relevant than ever now because this year I started to learn music theory and just took my grade 3 exam. 

I have a big love of Disney too so there are a lot of disney ornaments on my tree. Pinnochio is a big part of my childhood and Jiminy Cricket and When you Wish Upon a Star, we're both of huge significance as I grew up and during my wait for transplant. This Jiminy is so gorgeous I love him!

Two new additions this year because the Disney collection was just so cute I could seriously have bought and bought. First is Belle, I love Beauty and the Beast and wish I was Belle, she loves tea and reading and she's damn feisty too! I also bought Mary Poppins because she is musical related and I just thought she was brilliant although I do keep getting tempted to adorn her with some glitter!

London is another of my favourite things, and is therefore represented on my tree! I have a postbox, and a bus on there but I love this blown glass Big Ben. 

A wonderful addition this year I forgot about until I unwrapped it. Just before new year last year my friend and I went to Paris for a couple of days which was amazing. I bought an Eiffel Tower decoration at the Eiffel Tower and with what's been happening there lately I was so happy to have it hanging on my tree.

Every tree needs a Father Christmas and I can't remember where I got mine but I know I loved him immediately and often gets comments on how cute he is. He is super super sparkly and is made from tin so really traditional as santa should be. He's always at the front of my tree.

If there's an opportunity to get something theatre or stagey in my life I seize it. My mum and I try to make an annual visit to Harrods to see there Christmas department and this year she bought me this beautiful mask. One day I'll have a whole tree (one of about 20) that is just full of theatre decorations!

Another Harrods find last year was this Popcorn ornament. I love the glass ones as I think they are so traditional and bright. I also have a hotdog, a macaroon, and a teapot. Food is a bit of a mini theme!

A golden oldie is another glass dec, this time a skater boot. I don't skate, never have and probably never should with my level of clumsiness/breakable body! But I loved this on sight as its so detailed and Christmassy!

Finally, a star for the top of my tree, I prefer a star to any other topper and I love stars, there are lots of gold ones on my tree. Underneath is a special gift. My sister doesn't craft, or sew, or make. But when I was in having my transplant she made me these lungs with the year on them. I was so so touched. They go up by the star every year in pride of place.

And here is my tree in its glorious, glittering, entirety! 
I hope that wasn't too boring and you enjoyed seeing my decorations and knowing a bit about them ( i love things like this as I'm so nosy!). I'd love to hear about your decorations and see photos of them. Leave me a comment! Xx