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Updated: Jul 27, 2023

IThe Saga Begins

Monday 20th March 2023

It starts this week!

All the waiting since the dreaded diagnosis last February

Atrial fibrillation, numerous conflicting drug combinations and the final kick in the cladgers of a Leukaemia diagnosis

Still here we are at last all ready for the off!

I start my chemotherapy tomorrow at long last.

Tuesday 21st March 2023

All set for the off. 0930 Portesham Surgery and my blood test for Thursday’s transfusion

Compulsory Covid test completed and registered, test strip in pocket all ready

On the way home, received a surreal phone call ‘Mr Ayers , when did you last have a blood test? Just now. ‘No when before that’

‘a fortnight ago ‘

‘That’s no good, did no-one ask you to have another done ready for the afternoon?


In that case we can’t go ahead today. Start tomorrow instead’ We’ll extend by one day next week

Blimey. Cancel my lift today. Look at my fan club list for a suitable volunteer for next Thursday

Bob’s Bulletin No1 and the Bob’s Buddies Spreadsheet consulted and a short flurry of phone calls ensued.

Result! I’ll only have had one chemo treatment before the pub Quiz at the New Inn tomorrow, shouldn’t be too exhausted after all

Wednesday 23rd March

1st test for my chauffeur team. Will she turn up. Does my system work.

Yes, Yes. Uneventful journey and a good welcome into the Dreaded Fortuneswell Clinic at Dorchester County Hospital (DCH)

Yet more blood tests and an anti-emetic tablet. Nice cup of tea offered and a lengthy wait to assess my exact potion and mixt it up.

The jab was peculiar, a viscous white liquid vigorously rubbed to loosen it up in two syringes and then painlessly inserted under the skin of my distended belly (all my diet and PT now long gone) and a 2” square plaster Araldited on to the two microscopic pin pricks. I am dreading the removal of the plaster. Note to self, SHAVE your tum without delay

My understudy for running tonight’s quiz was struggling to turn up, so I played the hero and after an excellent Belly Pork and Mash meal, ran possibly my best ever quiz, all based on musical topics. I announced my immediate withdrawal from polite society and have now commenced my Purdah

Purdah and a restricted diet now follow. Life without Offal , Blue cheese, Shellfish and some fruit and veg, might sound nice, but not to a committed omnivore! I suppose life without tea, coffee, alcohol will do me good, but that first pint of Youngs Special, possibly next year, will be nectar!

Arrived home after pacing up and down the bar at the pub, utterly exhausted and ready for the transfusions tomorrow

Thursday 24th March

Dragged myself to the Medical Day unit and was met with the news that my haemoglobin was really bad and I needed 3 units of blood. 3 Units @ 3 hours each was too long and the 3rd at 2 ½ hours meant that the chemo had to be squeezed in somehow. This was done at 1500 and a twinge of regret has crept in, because the second jab hurt and has caused an angry rash across my tum. You’ve guessed it, I didn’t have that shave!. Another plaster hammered home and the removal to be dreaded.

Long tiring day, doing apparently nothing

Friday 25th March

A golfing pal dropped me off and picked me up for the afternoon session of Chemo. Nice cup of tea and a long wait for my jabs. Grrrr No shave and another vicious plaster welded on.

Notified that my blood was really low and called in for an extra spa day in Dorchester on Monday

First publess evening in my isolation.

Saturday 26th March

Nothing much happening. Able to go shopping and keeping my distance

Sunday 27th March

Sat up in bed wondering when to pluck up the courage to pull the 3 plasters off. Do I do the macho thing and rip them off like a man? Do I get in the bath and soak them off like a wimp. I really wish I had had that shave! Sat on the loo and went for it. Rip, rip rip, never again

Got in the shower and shaved my whole stomach. Took about 4 rinses of the razor and cost me a new blade.

Ran Jean to hospital for endoscopy

Driving still ok, each way from the hospital

Monday 28th March

Arrived for an extra spa day, two more units of blood today and called for my lift to hospital in the morning instead of the afternoon chemotherapy session only

Nurse called in on me during the second bag of blood to give the chemo jab. Pointed out the bruising and advised that a hydrocortisone cream would be provided to de-angrify my tum.

Amused the nurse, who was welding the new plaster on and discussed the future removal. Only keep the plaster on for a minimal period and soak and remove in the shower. Sound advice as it happens

Felt sick for the first time on arrival home. Took my anti sickness tablet and about an hour later had some chicken and potato bake from the previous day. My word, did I feel ill? Within 5 minutes and 4 retches later the whole of my supper was reposing in the downstairs loo. 2 hours later, I risked a lamb stifado with cous-cous and held on very well and did ok in Mastermind and University Challenge

Tuesday 29th March

Shower and spray with soap. Peeled the plaster off and must have missed bits of hair when shaving. Not too painful but wound irritating, cream arriving soon

Discussed the previous evening’s biliousness and it appears that creamy eggy food can coalesce in the system and bounce right back at you. Lessons will be learned ! The difference between me and various arms of government is that I will genuinely not repeat the mistake!

Met a nice chap in the adjacent chair having his treatment, ex navy bloke whose son has just joined the local police. After a long chat with him, the nurse realised I was still there and said that I could have gone ages ago. I said that ‘Orders is Orders’ and I hadn’t been dismissed!

It appears that once the jabs are in, one can go!

Wednesday 30th March

Chemo only today and leaving the dreaded plaster on for the minimal time seems to work. My lift to and from hospital had discovered the Damers Restaurant. Excellent location for my future lifts to lurk in and enjoy a coffee that is half the price of a Starbucks. It is also just 50 yards from my treatment unit.

I missed the specialist nurse, who had left a message that I was to have platelets as well as blood in the morning We went to Weymouth Pavilion to see the Ukrainian State Opera perfom Carmen. Good production and the display of the flag and anthem afterwards and a rendition of their national anthem was moving and uplifting . On the subject of moving, the chemo side effects probably kicked in again, this time 2 bouts of horrendous diarrhoea. The second bout conveniently finished and enabled me to take my seat as the opening curtain went up.

Walking across the car park later was an ordeal. After 80 yards I was frozen and told off for being a Jessie. I didn’t warm up however and went to an early night, shivering uncontrollably and armed with a hot water bottle . A nasty rasping cough and tightening throat was a concern

Thursday. 30th March

My lift to hospital had been a senior nurse and she told me that platelets suggests that my white blood cells were possibly no more and that I possibly had enough red blood. After the usual blood a bottle of what looked like wee was produced and that was administered over the next half an hour.

Fortified with a wee and blood transfusion I went for my last chemotherapy injections on this cycle. I now have my dates and times for my next chemo sessions, so can recruit the next 7 lovely volunteers from my list of supporters.

Got back tired and found a flat tyre on the Land Rover . Now wondering which duty Hercules had put the wheel on and how I can get the car out of our yard, ready for our barn gates to be finished

Friday 31st March

Horrendous Storm overnight and into the morning. Lay awake and still have to keep getting up every hour for a wee. Lay awake thinking about the tyre on my car, The barn engineer calling , and two friends calling in the morning to do a large garden job for me. Luckily I had defrosted a load of superb Denhay bacon for their rewards.

At 0400 I finally cracked and called all works off , so as to take it easy and have a bacon roll fest instead. Alex and Ian, I felt were secretly relieved to have bacon rolls and coffee instead of a heavy gardening job. Alex saved me by changing the Land Rover wheel and moving some heavy feed sacks.

The rest of the day passed with my feeling completely washed out. Mid evening was towel throwing-in time and an early night.

Saturday 1st April

My self imposed purdah, precluded any thoughts of practical jokes, but I woke up feeling quite well. Kept out of everyone’s way at a couple of shops and then felt able to assist with some jobs in the house.

Have started to itch around my back and scalp and the cough has come back a bit. I have also noticed that some foods and drinks are tasting funny, a sort of soapy taste. Stuck to a ham baguette and tea

The Shiptonites ride again for the last time this season at the golf club. Annoyingly the new caterers have let themselves down. 5 of us had a meat pie, my vegetable lasagne was poor and the lemon sponge fingers pudding was horrible. The lime juice, resembled Fairy liquid, but didn’t taste as nice. Quiz was great and I survived the evening, but crashed out as soon as we got home. Managed the stairs better than for the last couple of months

Sunday 2nd April

Woke up ready to tackle the garage, which is squalid tip. Managed to put away a load of stuff that had been dumped in there over the last 6 months, September’s hospitalisation with serious infections, made me lose the will to live as far as work outside was concerned. Achieved a great deal, so that when our new electrician comes he will not run away in horror

Monday 3rd April

Went to the local post office and was told I was looking much better. I felt good and went to the tip and then on to the dealers to return my dodgy compressor from the garage.

I had commissioned the compressor and was looking forward to using it on Thursday and Friday for 2 punctures, so was not best pleased to receive a phone call that I had wound down the pressure regulator so that it wouldn’t even start. Classical dummy operator error, but I think my powers of concentration had let me down re the instructions. I’ll blame the chemo!. On second thoughts I will be going back there. Arrived to announce that I was here to collect my ‘Buffoon of the Week’ Award

The man loaded it up for me and I managed to get it out of the car but not able to lift it into position. Collapsed in a heap and rested up for half an hour, before tackling the new Land Rover tyre ready for the MOT on Wednesday. The friend who changed the wheel for me is 31 years younger than me, and under my supervision had done up the wheel nuts. I managed it after an hour and a quarter with a cup of tea and three rest breaks. 2 years ago I could have undone those nuts with my eyelids. What a Wimp, I have become . After dinner, I felt as though run over by a steamroller and had an early night

Tuesday 4th April

Woke up feeling good yet again. After my cocktail of tablets went to the doctors for my weekly blood test, ready for my weekly ‘spa day’ as Jean calls my transfusions, plural . 3 hours for one unit, 6 and a half for 2 units and the Biggie 8 and a half hours.

This time it was exciting, two nurses one of whom, was armed with a new gizmo for me. A finger pricker machine and a lecture about pre-diabetes type two. If I am at risk, it has crept up on me. Now will be busy swotting up on diabetes, and see if my diet, together with my chemo diet has to reduce me to eating cardboard and drinking fizzy water.

Continuing to feel better each day, swelling and chemo jab marks are fading. Have continued to itch around the head and back around the waistband. Food is not very appetising and am permanently thirsty.

Wednesday 5th April

Visit to a wool mill. Woke up again with a raging thirst and heavily furred tongue. I blame the chemo!

Then off to a photo exhibition run by a friend. Fish and chips in Lyme. Taste buds not performing very well.

Arrived home and suddenly crashed out. Felt utterly exhausted . Mid evening recovered and bed at a normal time. Gizmo reading of 7

Thursday 6th April

Really thirsty again and heavily furred tongue. Had pre transfusion shower and noticed a horrendous rash all over my neck, shoulders and back. Arrived feeling well and complimented on my apparent recovery. Had one unit and a platelets dose. Gizmo reading of 7

Friday 7th April

Horrible taste in the mouth and furred tongue

Arranged to pick up a shed as a new chicken house. Managed to move some small pieces of the shed down a narrow alley. Carrying down the hill ok, but walking back up was difficult

Tired later and needed a sleep in the afternoon

Gismo reading of 7.3

Saturday 8th April.

Eggs delivered to one address, second address, a sick bay, both friends laid up with a vomiting bug. Visited by another member of the fan club, who is now signed up for Bob’s Bulletins and lifts to hospital. Gizmo reading of 7.3

Sunday 9th April

Gizmo showing a fault, using a used test strip

Monday 10th April

Gizmo showing the same fault, will give up with it

Tuesday 11th April

Horrible thirst in the morning. Blame the chemo!

Blood test at Portesham. Second nurse has released me from the Pre-Diabetes tests on a daily basis. I was offered to join the on-line diabetes help group, later advised that my blood sugar is below the limits for the programme.. Gizmo discussed. Seems that the test strips are just about out of date. Keep the machine in case more tests are needed. Running ot of stem, so wonder how many units of blood needed on Thursday

Wednesday 12th April

Raging thirst most of the day. Feeling really tired with legs feeling like lead. Slept several times, no energy at all

Thursday 13th April

Thirsty and heavily furred tongue. Platelets and two units of blood. Not surprising considering how exhausted I was yesterday. At lunchtime I was told only one pack of blood today, felt like a half day holiday. Very sleepy after evening meal and an early night

Friday 14th April

Thirst and heavily furred tongue. Tremendous back-ache. I blame the chemo!

Ok walking about despite the bad back. Contacted Amy, at Southampton Hospital, possibly 3 donors in the wings. Might commence the dreaded isolation in about a month. Fingers crossed

Saturday 15th April

Woke up with a very painful back again. Shopping and then able to walk around the garden to alleviate back pain. Used the loo 3 times during the day

Sunday 16th April

Sent out the lift requests for the start of the chemo again on Wednesday. All of the volunteers are ready and John Grantham from Burton has taken up the last chemo for the second week.

Feeling well and have ordered the bite for the garage truck. People will see me from miles away in the spiteful yellow Ford Ranger Pick up ! Handed over the quiz papers to Alex Drew, who has undertaken to run Wednesdays quiz for me

Monday 17th April

The usual thirst upon waking up. Off to get the new horrendous truck signed over to me. Driving ok and getting ready for the new week of chemo. Visit to Washingpool Farm for some quality food for the diet.

Tuesday 18th April

Blood test at Portesham, ready for my ‘spa day’ at Dorchester. Ian Ferguson helped me in the garden, saving the glasshouse from being swamped with overgrowth

Wednesday 19th April

Ist day of round two of the Chemotherapy. In addition to the Azacitidine, expected, I arrived to be told that my immune system is very much down and I am to have 7 jabs of Filgrastim!. Straight into the stomach and administer at the weekend by yours truly. An ingenious retracting syringe was demonstrated for me to use on myself

Side effects were described, which do not sound nice, including bone pain. No effects and a very good steak dinner

Thursday 20th April

Woke up with a raging thirst and after 20 minutes the most peculiar pain in the back at the top and at the base of the spine. A very uncomfortable half hour with a literal bone pain in the shoulder blades and cervical area, as well as the coccyx. Eventually wore off after the paracetamol kicked in

Two lots of blood today, but no platelets and then the two chemo jabs, so a long ‘spa day’

Appointments for the next 5 weeks supplied, so can work out who my next victims will be, providing lifts and practical help. At the outset I put together a list of friends and neighbours, who are good enough to give their time for me. They are collectively known as Bob’s Buddies and I am collecting their contributions on a spreadsheet and notifying them of my progress (or lack of) and future transport needs

Friday 21st April

Afternoon chemo again and the back pain continues. 3rd jab of the new stuff inserted. Dr Hofer tells me that the drug, Filgrastim is probably working on the areas of bone density and trying to create white blood cells

Saturday 22nd April

Several friends have gastric bugs or are away, so the egg deliveries in Bridport were speedily dealt with

Waited until the afternoon to self administer the Filgrastim. An ingenious spring loaded syringe for one use only.

Sunday 23rd April

Having and early cup of tea in bed and using the oil of evening primrose for the reddening and swelling on my tum ,on the site of the chemo jabs. I noticed a painful swelling in my left armpit Convinced myself that the blood cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. Administered the second dose in the fancy syringe. Could hardly stay awake in the afternoon

Monday 24th April

On arrival at the Fortuneswell clinic, I bumped into Dr Hofer. After a quick look at my armpit, he prescribed a course of Flucloxacillin and confirmed it was a lymph gland infection to add to the many so far. 4 more tablets every day! I blame the chemo!

Tuesday 25th April

I noticed some more black ulcers on my inner cheeks and a nasty one on the side of my tongue. Mentioned this to the nurse and she shot off to the Haematology mob. Next thing is my marching orders to the medical day clinic for emergency platelets. On arrival I was accused of not being able to stay away! Especially as I was due back there on Thursday. Apparently my white blood is very poor.

Wednesday 26th April

Saw Dr Hofer again, who had a look at my armpit again. No change or improvement , so another week’s supply of Flucloxacillin to get rid of the infection.

Thursday 27th April

Went down the garden first thing to check the chicken water. Really tired and hopelessly out of breath. I assumed I would need at least two lots of blood. To my surprise, just one unit of blood before my final chemo dose this afternoon. Exhausted on arrival at hospital. New manhole covers being fitted in the garden today, yippee. Alex arranged for clearing the roof of the stable block, ready for our guarantee discussions with the stables manufacturers. Went to the Olive Tree with friends for a very good tapas meal. Shame about my taste buds, the food was great but entirely tasted of metallic cardboard. I blame the Chemo!

I drove us all there and back and am not missing drinking in social company at all. Two tonics and water all evening. Aren’t I cheap to take out now

Friday 28th April

Jean’s birthday. Steve turned up to finish the manhole covers in the sheep welfare paddock and the driveway fence post. Alex turned up to clear the rear of the stables roofs for the argument with the stables mob.

Went shopping for birthday impedimenta and treated us all to bacon rolls, courtesy of the last of the wonderful Denhay bacon and the cheese topped Lidl rolls .Yum all around

Tea and birthday cake later and 2 jobs ticked off my list. Yesterday and today have tired me out. Suffering from pains in the lower back and right shoulder blade. Instead of Friday at the New Inn I was in bed exhausted before 2145!

Saturday 29th April.

Woke up in pain from the hip and shoulder and feeling exhausted by 0900. Delivered eggs and some tv leads to Bob and Linda and when shopping for shelf brackets for the barn, lost the will to live and went home. Felt tired all day and did virtually nothing. Watched the England v French Women’s 6 Nations grand finale second half. Brilliant game, no dissent, fast rucking and no obvious foul play.

Suffered a very painful day

Sunday 30th April

Despite some hip pain, took a bushel of paracetamol and braved RKL tools. For once I remembered my disabled badge, so was able to park outside. Got my shelf brackets, so can do Alex’s wonderful workbench proud with a resplendent long shelf above it

We moved some sheep from the hill field to our woodland grazing at Askerswell and some others to the top of the village. Jean posted some nice pictures of bluebells and primulas in the lane onto her Bramblecot Facebook page (look at that for our amateurish farming efforts!)

Collapsed in a heap for a while and then mounted the Forrest Gump mobile and cut the lawns. Watched the most intriguing session of the World Snooker and saw the 14th ever 147 break. Wonderful viewing, especially since we used to regard it as a tedious game on the box!

Monday 1st May

Apart from a pain in the left hand part of the small of my back ,woke up feeling a bit like my old self. Mustn’t get depressed at the vast amount of jobs to do, but just get on.

I have been looking at the back lawn for a fortnight now, with good intentions. Every time I look at the mower it rains . ait is so long now that I cannot collect the grass, so will prop open the collector and go for it. After 45 minutes I collapsed in a heap, covered in grass clippings from the mower’s discharge chute. Now under orders to pick up the clippings, so as to save the lounge looking like a jungle.

After a recovery period I went down to make a start on the barn. Got the big shelf ready for installation and put up the last bird boxes before I really did collapse in a heap.

After dinner we watched the stunning last session of the World Snooker.

Tuesday 2nd May

Big day today. Seeing Dracula at 1120 for my blood sample ready for Thursday at Dorchester. This afternoon we are redeeming a charity token for Cream Tea for 4 at the Moonfleet Manor. We won it at a quiz night raffle about a year ago, but my health collapse did not lend itself to using it in polite company

No real pains to speak of today so far. Very tired when we went home. Legs felt like lead, no evening meal after the cream tea, so slept in front of the tv

Wednesday 3rd May

Woke up again, fairly pain free. Feeling like some work before a lunch in Abbotsbury with old friends from our Essex former life. A bit of time to feed the hens and gather the eggs. A wonderful confederate offered to deliver some eggs for us, agreeing to take 3 dozen for the locals. Just started mowing the lawn and then received a really annoying phone call from the Robert White centre. I had to attend there for another blood sample ready for the transfusion/spa day at DCH

Had a superb lunch sitting in a sunny sheltered spot in the Abbey House Tea Rooms and sat for probably too long in the sun. Then went to DCH for the additional blood test. Turns out that there was a microscopic problem with one of the labels from Tuesday’s sample. Reminded us of blood/urine samples in Custody from drink drivers and for Jean submitting exhibits for the forensic laboratories. If not 100% correct, automatic rejection. Full after my superb lunch went home totally exhausted . No evening meal required so slept in front of the TV again. Legs like lead. Had noticed a black ulcer on the side of the tongue and another ulcer on the right cheek. Have had a series of ulcers in the mouth. I blame the chemo, cos I had gone 70 years without mouth ulcers and now have had a whole series of the little blighters. Have also this week switched to a soft toothbrush because of soreness. Went to bed very tired and hoping for two transfusions in the morning

Thursday 4th May

Woke up with a sore hip and back, back to the paracetomol. Arrived at the Medical Day Centre and advised that I was having the full Monty. 2 lots of blood and platelets, so a nice long spa day. Hopefully I’ll be ready to help Alex and Ed tomorrow with outside jobs. Had treated myself to a monster new machine for brushcutting and tidying up some of our field edges and the shameful overgrowth everywhere. Now hoping I’ll be able to start the damn thing !. Some doubt during the first transfusion as to whether I would have two units. I pleaded exhaustion and Dr Hofer , hearing of my tiredness agreed to the second transfusion. Hope I then get a couple of energetic days.

Decent fish and chips from West Bay and I can actually taste the food a little better

Friday 5th May

Alex came round and we started clearing the garden from the last couple of working parties. Alex set up the water troughs by the new barn. I helped a little but flagged after a bit. Ed came round complete with COVID and his drone, to film the roofs of the stables ready to do battle with the original builders and their guarantee . Morbidly afraid of a lethal infection, we kept Ed at a distance and I took out my leper bell to warn everyone.

All ready for skip hunting and another fire in the big field, probably Sunday after tomorrow’s big day

Saturday 6th May

Took some eggs out to Yolande and Bob and Linda. Got back and loafed in front of the tv for the entire day, watching the wonderful Coronation and deriving much satisfaction watching the likes of Peter Tatchell, whinging that they couldn’t wreck the big day. Some back pain throughout the day and the chemo jab sites much improved

Sunday 7th May. Lazy morning and some back pain. I still blame the Chemo! Had another go at making sense of the Blogging Site. I might get one of Bob’s Buddies to help me out.

Sunday 7th May

Woke up with a bad back yet again. Had a lazy day and went out later to see the villagers departing from the Coronation Party around the Village Hall. Very sorry to not become involved. Various functions are now under way and I am certainly feeling out of it

Went down to the new barn and did some more settling into the new building

Monday 8th May

A fairly miserable weather day, back still painful. Went out to deliver a with sympathy card for Heather Cowland, widow of one of our ex-golfers. Torrential rain all evening .

Tuesday 9th May Portesham

What a difference a year makes. The big pub buffet party for my 70th last year . Blood test at Dracula’s in Portesham in 2023! Had coffee at the Litton Lakes with Tony Jones and lunch at Groves. Horrified by the tree prices. Back hurt all day. No party, boo hiss

Wednesday 10th Mays

Another day of exhaustion and back pain to enjoy. Got to 1000 before I felt drowsy. Had a nice cup of tea and went shopping for odd bits. Whilst shopping in Lidl, met Carolyn one of the new bell ringers of Shipton and joint winner of the last , quiz. Nice chat with her but on the verge of collapse with lower back pain

On my return I received a call from Haematology Sarah who advised me that my haemoglobin count was good and that I need not have my spa day at Dorchester hospital but must have my weekly blood test next Tuesday. Queried the tiredness an no need for blood and it appears that we can all blame the Chemo!. Also queried the constipation and voiced my and Dr Hofer’s scepticism re the benefits or otherwise. As an experiment I am to up the guts powders and I’ll leave off the simvastatin to see. Whilst gardening, suddenly had to go ‘big time’! Talking about it works, evidently

Thursday 11th May

My big plans of a days gardening scuppered by rain nearly all day. No benefit at all to a holiday from my spa day. Sorted out some of Bob’s buddies for lifts to the next series of chemo jabs. I don’t want to keep hitting the same victims. Back hurting and I really don’t want to get dependent on paracetamol but the small of my back towards my left hip is really painful, not quite ‘character-building’ but annoying nevertheless.

Friday 12th May

Woke up feeling tired and in considerable pain in the back. All the way from the left hip, up to the shoulder blades. Jean tried to massage some of the pain away. Did some gardening at snail’s pace, collecting potting compost and animal feeds. Started to put the polytunnel back into use. Read that my diet should be rich in iron. Concerned about constipation, so have left off the simvastatin again, but having a couple of rump steaks for dinner. Put a hint to Ed about sorting this blog thing, so I can jazz up my daily account. More painkillers this afternoon

Saturday 13th May

Egg deliveries first thing . Lot of pain in the lower back

Sunday 14th May

Treated some of the sheep ready for the shearer. Slightly dizzy whilst holding the heads of the sheep.

Another day on the paracetamol. The left side of my mouth is very painful, with mini ulcers that I have bitten a couple of times. I’ll seek advice on Thursday. Cooked a nice risotto, which would have been perfect, except is tasted of cardboard like most of my food these days. I blame the chemo!

Monday 15th May

Busy day with Alex all day and Ian Ferguson assisting. Eileen’s old shed re-roofed and the area around the new chicken house cleared. The new ground clearance beast has not yet arrived. I could feel myself running out of steam by late morning and by tea time was washed out.

Tuesday 16th May

Was preparing to go to Dracula’s for the week’s blood test and Jean suggested lunch afterwards at the Abbey House tea rooms. Had the most delicious looking Crab and Mac and cheese, sadly tasting of cardboard. Great welcome by the proprietor and a pleasant time had by all. Jean went out knitting in the evening and I popped out to make a start on the repairs to a shed at Nallers Lane. We found the start of a hornet invasion, through holes in the shed door. New panel required in the door, plus new hinges.

Wednesday 17th May

No calls from any medics to cancel the transfusions for tomorrow. Started the third wave of chemo therapy in the afternoon. In addition to my usual Azacitidine I was advised that I am neutopenic and would have another 7 doses of Filgrastim, not great news as I am sure it caused a lot of bone pain last time around and a possible cause to a whole series of painful mouth ulcers. I have bitten my left cheek a few time, which is character building . I spoke to the nurse Amy about the back pains tasteless nature of my food and the mouth ulcers. She will arrange for some special mouthwash to counteract mouth ulcers Took for ever to receive the jabs, so in compensation took todays, chauffeuse Linda Simpson for a tea afterwards. After dinner I was out on my feet and had an early night. If only I could stop taking the Bisoprolol, I might get an uninterrupted kip. Usual 4 times weeing during the night .

Thursday 18th May

Woke up without a serious back pain and went to DCH for the weekly transfusion and today’s chemo. Back a little stiff, when walking. Only due to have one unit of blood and no platelets and may have to wait a while afterwards for the chemo jabs. Message left at Southampton re any progress on the stem cell donor front. One donor under tests and another somewhere on the horizon. Probably nothing doing and the possibility of a total of 6 sessions of chemo now a distinct possibility

Had another go at putting this blurb onto the blog software, without much joy. Went in for the chemo mega early and sat it out with a new book. Treatment only took about half and hour this time. I was advised that yesterday’s delay will be situation normal in future, because the lab won’t mix the stuff until they know that I am still alive and will be making the 7 appointments!

Friday 19th May

Alex did some more work at the house and we went to Kitson and Trotman for the first meeting about our joint wills. My health has sharpened our focus on what to do with the Ayers Empire We were sent away to give and answer to our 64,000 dollar question. Who to leave it to? Sound advice on inheritance tax, however .

Hilary picked me up for the chemo and all went well, I was 25 mins early but would have been in and out in half an hour, a record

Saturday 20 th May

Reduced Egg deliveries and did my own injection of Filgrastim. Intrigued by the spring loaded syringe. Luckily the needle is so fine that there is no sensation as you go into junkie mode and inject yourself. Feels odd but no pain

Sunday 21st May

Started to feel really tired. Same again with the Filgrastim jab, love the syringe, but hate to think how much they cost

Monday 22nd May

Alex and I did some jobs around the place and I quickly felt exhausted. I was only waiting for the chemo for 15 minutes and fell asleep waiting for my obs. OBS is combined blood pressure, temperature and pulse and oxygen tests,, all rolled into one.

Tuesday 23rd May

Had my weekly visit to Dracula at Portesham .Ian Ferguson came round again for more gardening and strimming. Fell asleep again awaiting my obs and treatment. Last day of Filgrastim and I hope that some of the bone pain will go. Got my dates today for the next round of chemo next month. Bob’s bulletin No 4 to be sent next week

Wednesday 24th May

A bit more alert at the hospital and, later on advised that the red blood count is ok and that I wasn’t needed for my spa day at Dorchester.

Thursday 25th May

No hospital and Ian and Richard, the barn builders, came round and fitted the last touches to the new barn . Bit of sheep work in the late morning didn’t happen, because of the last trip for the chemotherapy. Nurse took one look at the bruising on my tum and suggested that it can be the rear of the upper arm, to take the pressure off my stomach which is covered in bruises. I was pleased because I cannot put a tight belt on my work trousers and yesterday I was walking around like a teenager with my arse hanging out of my trousers. Bumped into Sarah my Hematology nurse guru, who told me that my blood samples are routinely sent to Southampton, to aid the donor search.

Friday 26th May

Tum very sore and will concentrate on Evening primrose oil, Hydrocortisone Cream and Arnica to relieve the bruising on both sides, albeit not all at the same time

Shopping ready for Phil and Janet to bring the curry. , Throughout the day I felt a bit nauseous and at 1500 took one of the anti nausea tablets. It didn’t make much difference Tried a Leffe Blond with my dinner and felt worse. Re-inforces my no-drinking policy. We sat outside for me a bit too long ad I was freezing cold and could not warm up until I went to bed with half my clothes on.

Saturday 27th May

Went out to the shops, still feeling cold and wore my big coat and scarf. Must have looked funny in the heatwave, because everyone else seemed to be dressed for the beach . Felt fairly tired all day and watched the thrilling Rugby Premiership Final narrowly won by Saracens versus Sale

Sunday 28th May

Went down and collected the trailer for a tip run. Laura’s two sons came round and did a couple of hours for us in the garden.

Monday 29th May

I am getting very tired and my hips are very weak. Stairs are getting harder

Tuesday 30th May

Feeling very run down and back pains most of the day. No blood forms, so went to the Robert White Centre for my paperwork. Back to Portesham for the blood test then on to the Abbey House Tea Rooms for an excellent lunch. Felt really tired and went to bed for a couple of hours. Intending to have the big bonfire in the house field, I tried to rig up the big mower onto the tractor. After adjusting the mower and clambering into the tractor cab about 15 times had to give up totally exhausted. Had my evening meal and went to bed at 2100 hours

Wednesday 31st May

Moved half of the flock from Askerswell and Barr Lane fields. Steve Martin came along and we managed to rig up the tractor and mower in very quick time. He stayed and helped us with the awkward squad of the last Shetlands at Barr Lane. To especially reward him, we must have distracted him because he left his mobile phone in the house! Went to the golf club to meet the chaps for a tea and then on to start the fundraiser shopping for the big shearing weekend. I reckon that Waitrose had been visited by a swarm of locusts, because half the shelves were empty. Couldn’t get my Greek yogurt ready for my muffins for the for the New Inn on Saturday. Did the second Lasting Power of Attorney for myself and another early night. I can now barely manage the stairs

Thursday 1st June

Getting ready for the big day on Sunday. Very tired, 2 units of blood received .

Friday 2 nd June

Invited the mob and Laura and Jack (with sheep dog) field to help us herd half the flock from our nearby Hill into the yard

Worked like a charm and instead of a load of chasing stroppy Shetlands they all flew around the corner and safely behind bars, ready for thei haircuts on Sunday. It developed into a coffee morning with all the helpers and Steve and Geoff stayed on to start getting the hurdle lanes all ready for the big day. Went shopping for the post shearing lunch (in my role as chief catering executive) also had the offer of some local sausages from Jess Symes. They’ll go down very well on sticks for the mob.

Saturday 3rd June

Up at the crack of dawn to make two batches of my now famous or infamous breakfast muffins. Managed to deliver them together with some of our plants to the village fundraiser at the New Inn. Delivered the eggs and bought the papers and collapsed in a heap, exhausted by 110 hours! Felt tired for the rest of the day and did a bit of preparation for the shearers tomorrow

Sunday 4th June

Another early start, ready for the gang to descend upon us. The shearers arrived early and set up shop, leaving Steve, Tont and young Jack to gather the clans into the races for their haircut. Once the shearers started I started on my role as coffee and tea monitor, and preparing for my role as chief catering liaison officer. Visited now and again to monitor progress until the last sheep was shorn. The fleece folding table was swept and a tablecloth put on and out came the lunch. By then we were 10 and I got the quantities and quality spot on. We didn’t take the rams back to their summer grazing, but chilled in the evening. Exhausted I went to bed early

Monday 5th June 15, 2023

Sadly one of our old sheep had died and a trip to the fallen livestock place at Rampisham was necessary, thank heavens for my electric wheelbarrow, my concession to being so feeble these days, because the sheep are very heavy and I now struggle with the dead weight of even a Shetland ewe

Tuesday 6th June

My usual trip to Portesham for blood samples. Jean joined me and we had a very pleasant lunch at the Abbey House Tea Rooms again. Very tired and went to bed for a couple of hours in the afternoon

Wednesday 7th June

Thursday 8th June

Just one unit of blood today, so felt like a half day holiday

Friday 9th June

Jean’s oldest school friend, Gill is in the area for a Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall course on Saturday and we went for lunch at the Abbey House ,yet again.

Saturday 10th June

Sunday 11th June

Arranged to meet Gill again, initially for a coffee at the Burrow Farm Gardens near Axminster, but stayed for lunch and a nice long chat about the possibility of her moved from Bridgnorth to St Mawes. Lazy day for the rest of the day

Monday 12 th June

At early evening took the tractor to Barr Lane and topped the seeding grass there, ready for summer grazing of some of the critturs. Got back after being thrown about in the tractor and decided to throw in the towel again around 2130 hours

Tuesday 13th June

Bloods again at Portesham in the morning. Alex arrived early and I set him up with a few jobs for while I was at Dracula’s having my sample taken. By the time I got back he had achieved great thing with the preparations for a new shed and making a great start on repairing my woodworking shed at the top of the property

Wednesday 14th June 15, 2023

Contact from the hospital, re a slight problem with the blood sample, needing repetition. Chemo (round 4 ) started again . Shortage of staff, both in the Fortuneswell unit and the pharmacy caused a long delay for my jabs. This time I was to have Filgrastim again, and to self jab. New bloods taken for Thursday and to be advised later if I was to attend for a transfusion. Later advised that it would be one unit tomorrow. It’s a fill time job being ill, I’ve decided. Early evening Mags brought round a takeaway from the pub’s gentlemen’s evening. I had to miss out because of this neutopaenia lark. where my resistance to illness is very low. Went home and when it started to cool down I started the new beast, an OREC, a paddock mower, the ultimate big boy’s toy. Excellent initial results and will be a most valued bit of kit. Crawled in to the house completely exhausted and had an early night. First self jab of filgrastim. Apparently the horrible bone pain is less if administered at bedtime

Thursday 15th June 15, 2023

Arrived to find I was needing two units of blood plus the chemo. Made the most of my spa day! No-one to come down to administer the chemo so my day is 6 hours at the medical day unit and then report to the Fortuneswell unit for the chemo. It was agreed that I do my own Filgrastim Jabs and it was suggested that the bone pain is lessened if I administer the jab at bedtime. I felt washed out, having done precisely nothing all day and had an early night. What a thrilling existence, a full diary of medical appointments and treatments.

Friday 16th June

John Grantham picked me up for the chemo. He parked himself in the Damers restaurant to do his U3A swotting. To our amazement I was in and out as soon as the anti-nausea tablet had done its thing (a compulsory cup of tea and a 15 minute wait) I was advised that I was very brave to do my own Filgrastim jabs, because apparently some people are frightened to inject themselves, huh Jessies

Arrived to find Alex had done some more jobs around the garden. After my dinner exhausted again and another early night

Saturday 17th June

Jean was in Somerset flogging our sheep fleeces and I made a start on a long overdue bonfire and to cut the house field. Tired my self out and yet another early night. Penultimate Filgrastim Jab and beginning to get a lot of pain

Sunday 18th June

Woke up in a lot of back pain. I struggled through the day, we had to tidy up the field shelter ready for the next hay delivery. I was able to work in short bursts and then sit down. Later on went down to the new barn that has been used as a dumping ground for all sorts of kit that will reside there. Made good inroads into tidying up the barn and installing shelving and storage and then admitted defeat. After dinner had a second wind and stayed up and watched a daft Jason Statham film, fuelled by paracetamol

Monday 19th June

Now that our friend Phil is settled at home and more comfortable, we are visiting him in his sick bed. He was excused boots when he broke his hip, the day before our big shearing day. Just when we thought he enjoyed helping us!

Hope to finish the fire and cutting the house field today. Woke up and for 2 hours felt much better with little bone pain today, yippee

Chemo postponed today and carried on with the bonfire and cutting the grass. Very tired and bed at 2100 again

Tuesday 20th June

. Double hit today. Blood test at Portesham and then Tony Rogers took me on to the chemo at Dorchester. Nice run everywhere in a Jag SUV. Get me eh! Lord Muck

Ian Ferguson came and had a demo of the new beast, but the overnight rain prevented us using it. Some worthwhile strimming done though near the bottom greenhouse. Had a rst and read my book in the garden. Asleep for a few hours and after my evening meal was utterly exhausted. Bed yet again at 2100.

Wednesday 21st June

Busy day today, chemo, Jeans car and delivery of a sheepskin for poor Phil to lie on . His prolonged stay in hospital gave him a painful bedsore . Asleep when I got there so did my Good Samaritan act and returned for my chemo. Had a good catch up with Hugh King re Simon and the sale of his house. It means that we have lost one of our grazing sites. Potttered about aft the chemo and had some goodish news that I wasn’t needed for a blood transfusion on Thursday this week. Blood is apparently about 99! Whatever that means.

Thursday 22nd June

Not needed for transfusions. Mowed the top lawn, feeling quite energetic. I spoke to Wendy at Southampton hospital re the stem cell thing. Apparently they are looking at potentially 5 donors, two in the UK, one German, one Swiss and a Dane. Arranged to ring again next Thursday for an update

David Smith took me to hospital and we had a lightning visit, the stuff was already there for me and we were in and out in record time

Friday 23rd June

Felt tired during the day. Took some more kit down to the new barn, which is looking quite well set up now.

Saturday 24th June

Collected the SDS drill from Phil and bacon butties with Bob and Linda, Ashley and Alex. Jean was in Dorchester selling sheep fleeces at the Dorchester Guild of Spinners.

Sunbathed in the afternoon feeling very tired . Achieved precisely nothing

Sunday 25th June

Suffering from a bone pain, most of the day. Moved some hurdles and picked our crop of gooseberries. All exertions nearly finished me off.

After dinner cheered ourselves up with 4! Episodes of Allo, Allo. Back very painful

Monday 26th June 26, 2023

No treatment today . Hoping to prepare the way for Alex to finish the top shed re-roofing on Wednesday . Woke up with the bone pain in the shoulder blades and small of the back. Thank heavens for Paracetomol, now that I cant have Ibuprofen.

Tuesday 27th June

Jean thinks I am going bald on top. Haircut mid-morning and the hairdresser remarks that my hair is getting finer, but not balding. Blood test at Portesham .

Wednesday 28th June

Up early with Alex tackling the brambles and ivy around the top shed all getting ready for two top sheds to be re-felted. Had a massive bonfire in the old fire site. New tyre needed for my car. Some London books donated to the charity shops in my clear out which commenced after my diagnosis. Slight glitch with my hospital attendance for tomorrow, because I need a unit off blood but have no appointment booked!

Thursday 29th June

Appointment resolved and in for my spa day for one unit of blood. Dave Newell was todays chauffeur. Rang the Southampton hospital re any progress towards a stem cell donor. Bit of a kick in the cladgers. Couple of donors apparently unavailable, so asked to ring again in a fortnight. Slightly deflated about that. Just got the fifth session of chemo to look forward to the week after next.

Friday 30th June

Alex came round and did some more work here. Very tired in the evening and another early night

Saturday 1st July

Big day in the village preparing for the Stompin Dave concert at the New Inn. I helped to tow the Walditch marquees to the pub and did my bit putting them up but was exhausted afterwards. Took it nice and easy for the rest of the day. Instead of taking any risks at the concert watched an Amazon prime film instead

Sunday 2nd July 4, 2023

Helped to dismantle the marquees and then in the afternoon moved 3 waves of sheep (26) in all to the Barr Lane grazing. Very tiring, yet had a second wind and stayed up and watched a film until quite late

Monday 3rd July

Ian ferguson came round and carried on with his strimming catch up of the horrendous neglect in the garden. Progress is becoming obvious and a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. In the afternoon I took the new beast up the hill and started tackling the regrowth’s of the thistles and nettles on the western side. Delighted with the machine, but became very tired and had a very early night. My theory is that if I have some hard working days, that my blood wears out and I have to have extra blood. I just wish there could be some progress at Southampton re the donor situation. Everything crossed for some news next week

Tuesday 4th July

Off in the morning to see Dracula again. Felt tired most of the day, just as well because it rained all day and into the evening. Had a day of paperwork and ran out of steam again at 2100. Early night yet again!

Wednesday 5th

Moved another 6 sheep to the top field in Barr Lane and moving the trailers around and a small DIY job, finished me off. Wrestling with a couple of stroppy ewes is almost beyond me at the moment. My legs just won’t work today and the stairs are a problem again Had a coffee with the chaps at the golf club and had a tyre changed. Walking around the shops makes me realise just how ill I am. Boo Hiss. Very tired and my legs wouldn’t work. Stairs nearly killed me off. Very tired and yet another early night again.

Thursday 6th July

Jo Warren gave me a lift and on arrival I found my blood count was down to about 80. Two units of blood for my spa day!. I am determined to get this blog thing sorted just in case I ever get this beastly stem cell transplant. That and Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp will be my link with the outside world. Here goes

Friday 7th July

Woke up feeling quite energized. Several jobs around the garden, including a big bag of brambles. Alex buzzing back and forth with his project dig out. Felt tired in a good way by 1730 all ready for our fish and chip delivery.

Saturday 8th July

Anniversary day 45 years, not bad eh! . Were intending a picnic and taking the beast over to Askerswell for a working party. Rain stopped play and I reckon our reseeded area in front of the barn is greening up. Germination at last with two good downpours in a week. No paracetomol today and no real backache for the first time in a while. Took it nice and easy and survived the day with no painkillers. Bruising on the tum is receding nicely, probably read to be hammered again next week when I recommence the chemo. All my lifts are in place and a provisional booking for a possible blood transfusion on Thursday. I am working on a theory that if I do a load of work in the garden or animal associated then my blood wears out and I need transfusions. All my friends and medics advice is that I must take it easy, but it is hard when you see the house, garden and smallholding going to pot in front of you

Sunnday 9th July

Hoping to have postponed yesterday’s intentions to today. Weather a bit iffy. No backache again and only 2 reasons to get up during the night. The beta-blocker is Bisoprolol which is another word for something that makes you pee all the time, and I have to take them morning and at night. Still my blood pressure is taken about 1000 times each Thursday whilst receiving the blood and seems to have settled down to a steady 110/90 odd, which they all seem contented with

Monday 10th July

Ian came round and did a wonderful job with his little Black and Decker hedge trimmer on the top drive. I amazed my self with the amount of bagging up the clippings that I could manage. 48 hours now without Paracetomol. Feeling well and during the day, went to have a puncture repaired and lurked in Waitrose for half and hour ,buying things I didn’t need!. Saw 2 Marks, one Walditch and the other from the Green Yard. Both complimented me on how well I look, I am nearly believing it. Went to Dorchester with the other car and then managed to get out and check the sheep before dinner. Felt tired by 2200 and a semi early night

Tuesday 11th July

Off for my weekly visit to Dracula at Portesham, wonder if I need blood this week. I have more energy at the moment than I have in the last 8 months. Luch as a thank you to the Fergusons at our new favorite. The Abbey House at Abbotsbury .

Very enjoyable lunch and chat. 4th day with no paracetomol Mowed the paddock with the Snapper and it is now looking better than our so-called lawn at home.

Wednesday 12th July

Back for the 5th round of chemo and more of the self administered Filgrastim. Looking forward to lots of lovely bone pain in the shoulder blades and between my pelvis and lower back. Recommendation was to take it late at night so one can sleep through the pain. At teatime had a slight twinge but not enough to go back to the dreaded paracetamols. 5th day now without taking them, progress of sorts. Had the news that my blood count was in the high 90s, whatever that means and no blood transfusion this week.

Thursday 13th July 14, 2023

Second chemo day , queried why it takes so long on the first occasion and then much faster for the second and subsequent treatments. They only mix up on the first day when they know you are still alive and kicking, presumably and that you are going to turn up. Also discovered that the blood transfusions are only given when necessary because a build up of iron in the blood stream is hard to dissipate. You learn something new every day. Felt very tired in the evening and an early night. Quite a bit of bone pain and had to crack and take paracetomol

Friday 14th July

Two visitors this morning. Alex collected his bricks and then Bob Simpson for a social coffee. Chris 1 took me to the chemo. Incredibly fast, my drugs were awaiting me and I was out in about 20 minutes. Took Chris 1 for a coffee at Linda’s café in Poundbury . Don’t think she will be persuaded back to the golf club! Poured with rain all day, so much so that our local Jurassic Fields junket had to be postponed and several other cream teas, fetes etc. were cancelled of moved into village halls.

Saturday 15th July 16, 2023

Burton Bradstock Village Show Day. For year Jean had stewarded for the flower judge and I had been the limerick judge, for which we used to receive a Groves Nurseries voucher. Sadly not this year. I am semi -isolating and the organisers believe Jean to have too much on her plate at the present time. It meant that Jean spent the day on Friday in full WI mode making jams, jellies and lemon curd. She also did flower arrangements. I got a second for one of my limericks about Teresa May and Jean won 2 cups as well as a load of 1sts and seconds for garden produce. A worthwhile day. After lunch I felt sick and took a tablet and had a lie down for a couple of hours. Took my penultimate dose of Filgrastim and escaped without painkillers

Sunday 16th July 16, 2023

We are going back to a great pub discovery, the Golden Fox, near the Drax wall in Sturminster Newton. Meeting Hazel and Geoff, an evening meal there in the autumn last year was excellent. A great lunch had by all and then back for the second and subsequent sets in a thrilling men’s final at Wimbledon. Not much else done, but a reasonably pain free day and did the last of the Filgrastim jabs in my tum.

Monday 17th July

Ian Ferguson came round and did some more tackling of the overgrown front garden. Made him a coffee mid morning and started to feel sick. 2 hours before I was due at the hospital for the chemo, to left off the tablets. Bob Simpson gave me a lift and I mentioned it to Sarah and the nurse who said that the home tablets would not affect the hospital jollop that they give me each time. Gradually getting the hang of these nasties. Got back and finished cutting the back lawn, which would have been beyond me a few months ago. I am finding the odd trip upstairs is not so difficult. I might give a walk to West Bay a go next week, when I know I shall have a lift back. Bennet’s Hill is now the target. If I could gradually walk up that, the rest is downhill.

Tuesday 18th July

Anne and Les are coming to visit us and Les is taking me to chemo today. She was a top oncology specialist sister until last year and will be well worth picking her brains. Dracula this morning for my usual Tuesday blood test. Returned and Les took me to hospital. We sat up late after a Sundorbon curry (excellent as usual)

Wednesday 19th July

We met Ann and Les in their lorry! Campervan and sat in the layby at the Traveller’s Rest for hours, just chatting and drinking tea. I returned home to find messages that I didn’t need blood again this week. My blood count is apparently 98, compared with the low eighties, when they give me two shots. Several people have said how well I look and I am nearly believing them. No Chemo today after dinner crashed out and went to bed at 2130.

Thursday 20th July

No blood so went shopping . Middle of Lidl today but nothing of interest. Generally pottered about and Jean took me for chemo in the afternoon. Early night again despite no blood transfusion . Annoyingly couldn’t sleep and got up 5 times thanks to the dreaded Bisoprolol. Sheep jobs in the morning and Jean took me to chemo

Friday 21st July

Few jobs around the house and Geoff Hall was today’s chemo flunkey. Felt shattered in the evening and another early night. Finished a Dan Brown book last thing. An act of extreme masochism. Worst book I can recall.beginning to annoy me

Saturday 22ND July

Went shopping and came back for the usual crossword brunch, felt so tired that was asleep by 1230 and it was torrential rain, so lit the wood burner. I have felt cold all day despite being wrapped up like Nanook of the North (in July!!!) Never really warmed up and another early night.

Sunday 23rd July

Woke up feeling drained and beginning to struggle on the stairs again. Did some bramble clearing late morning and felt a bit queasy. Took one of the anti-sickness pills and rested up for a little while. Carried on later doing yet more brambling. Tried to adjust the snapper drive belt. Years since it was touched and I found it to be seized up. Alex might have a brute force job on his hands tomorrow. He thinks he is coming to borrow the trailer, but I have a fiendish plan for him instead. David Bass came round at teatime followed by Adam Sorrell. We are hosting his shearing with our shearer Richard, because he has no facilities of his own. After dinner, felt totally drained and another early night.

Monday 24th July 24, 2023

Ready to pounce on Alex when and if he arrives. I rather stupidly left the mower out and it is hissing down with rain this morning. It will be a very wet tug of war to get this drive belt moving on the mower. Hope he turns up in this gorgeous July weather If it persists, I might have a real go again at this blog thing which is beginning to annoy me. Either I am missing something or I’ll have to admit that I am an IT fossil

Alex is a star. We managed to pull the Snapper apart so that I could adjust the drive belt. Found that it needs a new clutch and a brilliant Snapper spares company is sending a new one. Managed about 22 bags of garden rubbish to the tip. Alex did most of the heavy bags. I did a diddy run earlier and was put straight, because the Yellow Peril and a trailer are verboten. Curiously the Landrover and trailer are ok. Work that one out if you can!

Knackered after my exertions and wonder what the blood situation will be on Thursday

Tuesday 25th July

We have decided to upgrade my car, a perfectly good, but scruffy Hona CRV. Great car but I have to agree it is now a slight embarrassment for naice passengers . Blood samples taken at Portesham and then some shopping. Greig and Allen have no spare CRV’s knocking around. Managed to sit up in the evening without exhaustion for a change

Wednesday 26 th July

Went to Beaminster , to the solicitors, to sign our wills. Coffee afterwards, whilst Ian Ferguson did another morning for us, tidying up the front of the garage, recovering the creepers overwhelming the area, north of the garage. Returned to find messages re one unit of blood for Thursday morning . Started to move some gear down to the barn ready for Adam’s shearing of his little flock

Thursday 27th July

Dorchester again for yet another spa day, one unit of blood. Busy in the hospital room today

My Invalid's Diary...

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