Friday, September 21, 2018

Tempted to Pee in a Bucket, and Other Moments from This Week

Been a bit of a busy time here in Repat world. 

First off - big news. I have a literary agent in the UK and we are pitching a new book! A departure from my usual US/UK stuff, but something that I'm passionate about also. Can't reveal much at the moment other than I have a lot of work to do in the immediate future. 

In other things, my dog-eared blogger blog, Take it From Us,  is going well and we have some excellent writers on board. The latest post, about not caring any more, seems to be striking a chord with a lot of people, so do have a butchers, as they say. (Butcher's hook - look.) It's amazing how many lapsed bloggers are talking about making a return to blogging. If you're someone who loves to write or has kept a diary for years. you can't just stop writing. If you're someone whose blog now doesn't allow for blogging about any old thing, come and guest blog for us. We're just in it for the writing. 

And of course, I still have workmen wandering around my house and garden at regular intervals. If it's not one thing, it's another. Today we have three young blokes chipping all the moss off the roof tiles. It was so jungle-like up there I'm sure they'll have come across forgotten species. Unfortunately for me, they turned up two hours earlier than I wrote down, (my mistake, I have no doubt), and I was still in my PJs, with a sweatshirt thing on the top. Didn't look too inappropriate but it gets worse.........

They put three ladders up the front of the house, right outside the windows of my downstairs loo and two upstairs bathrooms. Given that we've just finished bathroom work, we are of course, waiting for new blinds to be installed. (Do you see where I'm going with this?) Yes, the windows are slightly frosted, but when you're on a ladder two feet out on the other side, there'd be no mistaking someone sitting on the throne, or standing naked in the shower. And of course half way through the morning I desperately needed to go.

I was seriously considering all my options - pee in a sink? Obviously, grossness ruled it out (almost) immediately as well as the fact that the only other sink is in the kitchen and yes, that's right below an enormous double window that looks out onto the back garden. Given that they asked for access to the back of the house, there was NO WAY I'd have risked that. I also couldn't quite figure out how I'd physically manage this one, the sciatica still being an issue. Besides, just gross.

I did think about hiding myself deep in the coat cupboard in the hallway and peeing in a bucket, but.........then remembered that the landlord's agent was coming round at 11, and wanted access to every room. Imagine the scene were she to open said coat cupboard door to a bucket of fresh, steaming ........Ok, I'll stop there. 
For those concerned about my bladder or kidney welfare, like most British builders or workers, just as my panic levels were going stratospheric, they all trooped off to their van for their elevenses. (In the UK, about the only people who seem to do this on a regular basis are workmen in your house). So, whilst they were feasting on their mid-morning tea and pastries, I executed an Olympic dash to the downstairs loo (with the smallest window) and pee'd like I'd never pee'd before. I may have broken a Guinness record.

And yes, we're getting blinds next week. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cancer Schmancer

I'm not much one for spilling too much stuff on the blog or writing too much about members of my family. Not least because they'd all kill me.

I'm making an exception this time though - for a very special little boy named Frank. He's my cousin's son and he's two. A right little ray of sunshine and a cheeky chops at the same time.

Unfortunately back in February, what started off as a swollen eye turned out to be a devastating diagnosis of Neuroblastoma. Yup. After a few weeks of everyone telling my cousin not to worry, he'd be OK etc (as you do), her worst fears came true. And it's not just any old cancer (if there is such a thing). Nope. Only about a hundred children a year are diagnosed and they are usually under five years old.

Frank has already had 80 hours of chemo and surgery. He is now undergoing more high dose chemo, then looks forward to radio therapy, stem cell transplant surgery then immunotherapy. Sadly, almost half of neuroblastomas will return and the children need further treatment.

The good news is that there's a vaccine that can help prevent a relapse. The bad news is that it's not funded by the NHS and it's not available in the UK. The cost to take a child to the US for treatment (travel and treatment) is a staggering £200,000 ($260,000).

His parents have set up a fund-raising page, and they are trying to raise that amount in ten months, which is when Frank will need the vaccine. The fund-raising is being done through the Bradley Lowery foundation which is a registered charity in the UK. In the five days since the page has been live, the response from friends and acquaintances has been truly amazing. We need to keep the momentum going though, as we are only at 3% of the amount needed to give Frank the best chance.

So - I'm pleading. If you have a spare bit of coin, please consider donating to Frank's Fight. If not, please help spread the word for this gorgeous little boy.

Thank you my friends. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Right Way to Procrastinate

Did you know there's a right way to procrastinate? Me neither. I am a bit of a one for procrastination, even though I manage to give the impression that I'm a do-er. It works for me so I don't feel too guilty, but now I don't have to. 

Pop over to my new bloggy collaboration to read more about Procrasti-cleaning. 

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