Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Friday, 24 March 2017

Suddenly Reality Hits

 We've been going along here as if nothing unusual is about to happen, the steroids have given him more energy than he has had for a while and lots of jobs have been done but we haven't had time to sort out so many things.... car repairs, garage roof repair, I've not even learned how to use the ride-on mower yet. The sale of the bungalow is almost complete but not quite, Colin's County Council work pension is being processed but hasn't come through yet. So many things  in the pipeline.

 Then we got the phone call to say Colin has been approved to have the new cancer tablets...... next week. These are some that have only become available this year and haven't even finished their trials. They've been cleared for use with CLL lymphoma in the States with good results but not tested fully on Mantle Cell lymphoma, which is what Colin has but the drug company are permitting them to be used under compassionate licence.

Suddenly we realise this is real, make or break. These tablets proved fatal to some people when they were first trialed as they were given in a high dose straight away. Now they introduce them slowly with lots of fluids to take away the toxins, so patients are monitored closely for several days, just in case.
He's signed the consent forms, one of the list of possible effects which we have to understand is Death.
If they work he then has to go through the donor stem cell treatment later with all the risks of rejection.

As they say.......... OMG

Back when I've got my head round the implications

The Lark by E Nesbit


 Another treat from Dean Street Press arrived a few weeks ago. One of their Furrowed Middlebrow reprints for me to read and review.

All I knew about E Nesbit was that she had written 'The Railway Children' and 'Five Children and It', but she also wrote several books for adults, this one being the last, written in 1922.

The Lark isn't about birds but the word is used in the old fashioned sense - fun and an adventure and charts the story of two girls finding a way of earning a living after their guardian has used all their inheritance for himself....... leaving them with a cottage and £500.

Jane and Lucilla are still in school - aged about 18 when they get the letter from their guardian telling them to leave school, but the story had started 6 years earlier. Jane braves a woodland at midnight to chant a magical spell  found in a book which is supposed to show her the man she will marry. By chance  John Rochester, a young man (but several years older than Jane) is walking through the wood and stumbles on Jane but quickly leaves when he realises that she has seen him.

Fast forward 6 years - after WW1- John Rochester just happens to be the nephew of an elderly man who owns a huge empty house close to the cottage the girls are living in.

The story is quite light and fluffy, everything goes well, (except for the Paying Guests!) they sell flowers, get permission to use the garden of the big house, then one of the rooms and then the whole house, find a gardener by chance and rescue him from poverty. Gladys, their favourite maid from the boarding school comes to hep them out - adding many tales of all her young men! There are some lovely descriptions of the house and furnishings and many humorous bits that made me smile.

Happy ending of course for Jane and Mr Rochester ( although they are totally unlike their Charlotte Bronte namesakes) but we never really know the end of the story for the others.

An enjoyable read that I would never had known about without Scott at Furrowed Middlebrow and his collaboration with Dean Street Press.

Thank you for all the comments about the WI on my last post.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017


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 I'm not a great joiner of clubs or similar things, especially during winter when venturing out in the dark and cold doesn't appeal.
 So although I loved my 20+ years as a Cub Scout Leader before smallholding and my several years as Membership bod for the Suffolk Smallholders Society once we had the smallholding, I've not done anything lately.
Now there is more time and I really ought to make an effort. Colin's sister H happens to be President of a WI two villages away from where we live now and there was really no excuse not to go and visit a meeting. Last time I was a WI member was back in 1991 and I used to go with several neighbours and we enjoyed the meetings, it was a big group.......... about 30 or so members of all ages and  always interesting.
The group I visited on Monday is much smaller, less than a dozen ladies so H was pleased to have numbers boosted by one plus the subject was Bookbinding and you know about me and books!

The speaker was a neighbour of a member and had never done a talk before and then the overhead projector broke down just as he was about to start, but he did very well and had brought along old books and tools of the trade. He gave a brief account of the history of books and then described how he repaired damaged books and made things like record books for private hospitals. Then we all crowded around his lap-top to see the small photos which we should have seen enlarged.

After the speaker came delicious cakes and coffee, the members take it in turns to make refreshments, two people each month.

I just went as a visitor this time but will probably join properly next month. My only problem is that I don't really want to go on the theatre outings and other things organised so I hope that doesn't matter.

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