It seemed like a good idea at the time

To book a holiday in January. In England. In the Cambridgeshire Fens. What could possibly go wrong?

That was our thinking last week when we made the booking during the spell of mild weather. Now we are preparing to travel tomorrow and we all know what the forecast is. Extra supplies of thermo-nuclear underwear, fleeces, woolly jumpers, thick socks and hip flasks filled with whisky and brandy (not in the same flask) are piled up ready for packing. A phone call ahead has confirmed that several days worth of fuel for the open fire has been left for us. Lots of iplayer progs loaded onto the lap top to entertain us, books to read, soup to provide extra warmth. I think we'll survive somehow.

Whilst we are away, I'll be celebrating the 12 month anniversary of the end of my chemo on 23rd January. At my last Med Onc appointment in December, my CA125 was still down at 15, just as it was after treatment. My fistula operations seems to have been successful. Another birthday looms in the next few weeks and isn't it great to be getting older? :) Many reasons to be cheerful as we sit huddled in front of the fire in the thermals :) :)

Much love to all of you out there and particularly those of you facing a less pleasant week. I will be thinking of you.

Mary xx

47 Replies

  • Hi Mary

    You've now got me thinking about how we might celebrate my 1st year off chemo next month. Maybe in Donegal battling Atlantic gales.

    Hope you have a lovely week huddling by the fire. Drive safely.

    Here's to more chemo-free years for as many of us as possible.

    Lots of love

    Linda xxx

  • Hi Linda

    Congrats on your forthcoming end of chemo anniversary.

    I've never been to Donegal but would love to go one day. It sounds like my sort of place. We used to holiday on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel and relished the Atlantic Gales. (Except when we were on the boat travelling there. I don't have very good sea legs.)

    Love Mary xxxx

  • Dear Mary

    Have a really lovely winter holiday with your fire, soup, books and films, etc. What a wonderful way to celebrate your year post chemotherapy and a constant CA125 count.

    I'm heading off to the Med for the weekend. As I understand it's -3 at night and no more than 6 degrees in the day. I'm off to a Truffle Festival in Uzès. We'll have to compare holiday notes. xxx

    Love Annie

  • Happy holiday Annie. Enjoy the truffles.

    Monique x

  • Oh lucky you! Sounds wonderful. Have a great time.

    Linda xxx

  • Lovely photo Linda xx G xx :-)

  • oooh, I younger Linda I presume? Lovely photo. x

  • I was just five. Wasn't I sweet? What happened? :-)

  • Awwwww How cute.. :) xxxxx

  • Wouldn't it be fun if we all changed our profile pictures to one from our childhood for one day.

    You are still a very sweet and lovely person. The only thing that's happened is you've grown older and wiser.

    xx love Annie

  • It would be lovely to see childhood photos of the members.

    I must be managing my online persona very well. Wonder if you'll get a different impression when we meet IRL. ;-)

  • It's going to be an evening of revelations! lol I'm really looking forward to it. I'm in London this weekend en route to/from Montpellier (snow permitting) so if my knee is better will spend some time breaking up the journey home looking at places to spend the evening in Euston. It's not an area of London I'm familiar with at all.

    xxx love Annie

  • I used to frequent an Italian in Bloomsbury with colleagues when I worked for the Union but that was 14 years ago! My daughter is quite knowledgeable about London venues, how many people are we talking about?

  • At the moment there's about 20 of us - but new members have joined who might well want to come too.

    Any suggestions would be really helpful. xxx

  • None of the places that I know of could cope with that number I think we are staying at the Ibis aren't we? If so they may be able to accommodate us.

  • Yes I was thinking that. The Ibis have a restaurant so I thought I'd check that up. It's more about finding the right place for us to chat and mingle than cordon bleu cookery - and the restaurant would be convenient for those who are less mobile.


  • Love the photo Linda xxxx

  • Thanks :-)

  • Thank you so much Annie. Enjoy the Truffle festival. My husband once nicknamed me Truffle as he thought I had a gift for finding mushrooms.

    Have a great time.

    Love Mary xx

  • In that case I shall always think of you as Truffle! My husband calls me Whippit hence my alias on this site. It all started one long eventless passage back from France when he noted in the Log Book that Able Seaman Whippit was 'fast asleep on duty'. lol xxx

  • LOL I love this coment. I like knowing why you call yourself Whippit.


    Suzanne. xxx

  • It gives you a taste of my husband's naughty sense of humour. It's good to set the record straight that my name's not Whippet the dog but Able Seaman Whippit. (not so able on that passage as I was clearly sound asleep!) xxxx

  • Now we know why ! xxxx

  • Have a great Time.

    Lots of love



  • Sooo jealous about the truffles - a bottle of truffle oil is no substitute!


  • I'll let you know when I've tasted some. Think it might just be a weekend of gourmandising - and rain - lots of both apparently. xx

  • Hope you get there, with this awful weather, Annie! Have a wonderful weekend

    Love W xx

  • OOhh another childhood picture. You look very sweet. It's rather poignant looking at photos of childhood and reflecting on where we are now.

    Getting to Montpellier was a marathon. For a start I damaged the ligaments in my left knee last weekend and have been in a lot of pain and unable to walk far so we decided to ask EasyJet for assistance at the airport. The service was absolutely amazing and I'll mention here what happened so you ladies know you can still go on holiday even if you're not feeling so well because the Assistance Service is absolutely brilliant.

    We arrived at the check-in desk and were escorted through the barrier to a designated 'Assistance' Desk, I was allocated a wheelchair and a lovely lady wheeled me through security to departures.I set off the security alarm and they had to do a body search. They were so kind and asked if any part of me hurt to avoid increasing any discomfort.

    I was then wheeled to a designated Assistance Area in Departures and was given an alarm that I wore round my neck and was told at 12:30 the alarm would go off and someone would take me to the gate. It worked like clockwork and again straight through barriers to the front of the queue. Everyone was delightful and very sensitive about how you might feel being in a wheelchair in an environment that is designed for able-bodied people. I was given a seat at the front of the plane giving me extra leg room.

    By sheer coincidence on Thursday night I developed some sort of digestive problem so felt sick all day Friday and had to make very frequent trips to the loo. My poor daughter asked several times whether we shouldn't cancel the birthday trip. Weighing up the options I was near to cancelling the trip but by this time Gatwick was snow-bound and all public transport back to London had ground to a halt. We decided we were better with the support we had on the plane and plied with Imodium and anti-nausea tablets continued on the journey.

    We boarded the plane looking forward to getting on with the journey but it was stuck on the tarmac for about 2 hours with me getting more and more panicky about trips to the loo. One onboard loo had blocked and they said if the other blocked the flight would not leave. Well in the state I was in there was no chance of blocking a loo but it was painful and embarrassing getting up and down under the gaze of the all the passengers. The flight crew were absolutely brilliant. Once we were off they moved me to a screened off area at the back of the plane where I was a bit more private and I curled up across two crew seats.

    I felt a bit better by the end of the flight and was met in Montpellier by a grumpy French member of staff with an old-fashioned and uncomfortable wheelchair. He complained he'd been waiting 10 minutes in the freezing cold for me to get out of the plane, then whisked me though the airport at a breakneck speed knocking the metal wheelchair into the legs of unsuspecting passengers and shouting at the top of his voice for everyone to get out of the way. I didn't expect much more as that's generally the French attitude to disability. However, it was efficient and I was parked in the Arrivals Hall within 10 minutes of arriving at Montpellier.

    So the moral of this rather long story is don't be put off by travelling. I can't speak too highly of the staff at the airport and the cabin crew. I'm glad I stuck with it as I've just had a long and dreamless night's sleep and both the knee and the tummy feel as though they're on the mend.

    xxx Annie

  • Hi Annie ...

    Gold star to easyJet ..goddness knows what would have happened if it had be Ryanair ..... The worst company to fly with but if we fly to France to see my inlaws they are the only ones we can use ..mores the pity ...

    Hope you are back safe and sound without too much hassle from the snow .

    Love Jan xxxx

  • Hi Mary,

    Have a great time, love x G x 8-) 8-)

  • Thanks Gwyn. And your smilies have just reminded me that I need to pack my sunglasses. Well you never know :)

  • Have a lovely holiday, we went to Chester 2wks ago for a long weekend it was lovely just getting away/

    Safe journey

    Chris x 8-)

  • Hi Mary

    I'm sure the Cambridgeshire Fens have a bleak beauty in wintertime. You sound very well prepared - only thing I would add is a hot water bottle! Have a wonderful time.


  • Oh, thanks Monique. We did talk about the hot water bottle on Tuesday but it went out of my mind. Must put it in the pile now.

    Love Mary xx

  • Hello Mary I am actually so jealous right now that you are going away. Id love to go away somewhere right this min and get snowed in for just a few days so that i could come back straight away.. :) Have a great time . And May all the good work fighting cancer continue Indeffinately ..

    Lots of love

    Suzanne. xxx

  • Thanks Suzanne. Yes, will take plenty of pics.

    Love Mary xxx

  • Have a lovely weekend Mary and dont forget to take lots of pics of the snow!!!

    Love Angie xx

  • Thanks Angie

    Yes, can't wait to take pics of the snow.

  • Hi Mary,I hope you have a lovely weekend. My parents live in Ely and the road from Soham into Ely, the A142 I think it is, has a beautiful view of the Cathedral at sunset. It's worth taking a drive to stop and get a pic, if you're into photography? The bird reserve at Wicken Fen's good at this time of year for seeing Marsh Harriers if you're lucky. Have a lovely time, whatever you're up to! I hope the snow doesn't come down as badly as its forecast. All the roads are fine that way at the moment, according to my Mum and Dad, who drove into Cambridge today.

    Have a fun! :-) 8-)

    Love Wendy xx

  • Thanks for that info Wendy. We would like to see the bird reserve if possible and do intend to take lots of pics. Fingers crossed we make it ok.

    Love Mary xxx

  • It sounds wonderful. Relaxing or exhilerating which ever you wish. Congratulations on the celebration too, well done.

    Love Suex

  • Thanks Sue, just looking anxiously at the forecast for today.

    Love Mary xx

  • Dear Mary -- You are totally mad - but do have a wonderful trip. We are all in for an interesting few days.... am hoping that the old Blitz spirit will kick in this time, but usually the Brits just get grumpy when the weather turns!


    Sue xxx

    PS Add a bottle of champers to the car contents! So you can celebrate wherever you get stuck ;-) tee hee - at least you'll have no problem chilling it

  • Hi Sue

    Bubbly usually comes with us :)

    Husband is getting cold feet (sorry). He's wondering whether we ought to delay it for a couple of days.

    Watch this space

    Is there any more news on the port removal?

    Love Mary xxx

  • Hi Mary

    I hope you have a really good break- we managed to get away to Lyme Regis and had the upper part of a really nice house. It was just so relaxing to get away from home and all the routines. Think you will be as snug as bugs in rugs!!!!


    Anne xx

  • Still OK in Ely! Hope you made it and have a lovely snug weekend ;-)

    Love W xx

  • Hi there Mary ,

    Hope you have a wonderful break ..its not been too great here in the East so far this week and not getting any better here at the mo ..but you will have a great time as it sounds as though you have every thing you need and congrats on the anniversary of the ending of your chemo xxx

    love Jan xxxxx

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