Saturday, 31 January 2009

Another Big Day has Dawned

Oh boy,

What with one thing and another this week lack of sleep seems part of the normal pattern to my life right now.

With the live show tonight I was rather anxious last night. I did manage to sleep for an hour then wake up for a while then go back to sleep for an hour and so the night continued with this pattern of waking up and napping.

It is strange how thoughts appear in my head when I am half asleep and then I think they are real. I wake up in a panic thinking I have missed the allotted time for the arrival of the car. Worse still I arrive at the studio and end up being ill.

Oh boy I didn't have nerves like this on my wedding day. I can remember having various thoughts in the middle of the night worrying over various details and making sure that each thing was ticked off my dozen or so lists.

I just hope the nerves now will mean I don't have any later on. I don't want to look like a babbling teenager meeting an idol. I felt a bit like that when I met Duncan Goodhew in July last year but he was so down to earth and put me at ease instantly.

In fact Duncan and Steve Parry were both in awe of me and I had no idea until the following day when someone we were speaking to informed me of this.

Strange how our perceptions of others are totally unlike what we feel inside. I just hope I don't get tongue tied.

I will let you know how I got on tomorrow I expect. Feeling a bit deadbeat already and knowing it will be late by the time we get home I expect I will just crawl to bed exhausted and I hope to remain there until the morning with no interruptions of my beauty sleep.

Best wishes.


Friday, 30 January 2009


Another string to my bow. I love doing tapestry when my hands allow. Being riddled with arthritis in my right hand especially makes thing very difficult.
Well six months ago I started the tapestry on the left. With the operation after the wedding and Christmas lurgy I had been unable to finish the tapestry in time to give it as a Christmas present to my dear friends who kindly took in one of my cats when I had to move out of my former matrimonial home.
So as you can see this picture was apt as a gift for them. So I finally finished it two weeks ago. I searched around to get it framed. One place quoted £87. We then found another framing company who did it for approximately £38.
On Wednesday evening we went to our friends and handed her the present wrapped in paper. When she opened it she was thrilled. Her husband was at work but when she spoke with him on the phone that evening she informed him we had brought something around for them both.
Today there was a loud knock on the door. It was our dear friend's husband. He had come around especially to thank me for the gift. I said "I am so glad you liked it". Reply "I didn't just like it I love it". So I am glad I have made someone happy with my talents.
I will never forget the time I completed my first tapestry. It was of a horse head and I was so thrilled I set off and got it framed now it hangs in my living room as proof that when I get stuck I can do it and will finish things off.
So I will apply the same theory to my writing and see where that gets me.
Best wishes.

The Media

Simon you wrote a while ago that publishers are like buses well I can tell you the media can be the same. You try and plan your week and then a phone call changes everything.

Tuesday I received a telephone call from MacMillan Cancer Support in London asking for my help with their campaign to help cancer patients who are unable to get the cold weather fuel payment do so. I immediately said yes. Following this I received a telephone call from the media dealing with this particular story and this turned my week and house completely upside down.

After filming on Wednesday and doing the interview over the phone with the Sunday Mirror journalist, having my photographs taken yesterday for the Sunday Mirror I thought that was it.

Today we get a telephone call informing us the producers and everyone connected with the show had watched the film back and were so moved that they want us to attend at the live show tomorrow. I was shocked when I was told this and started to shake. I am actually going to meet Noel Edmonds in person tomorrow night.

For those of you lucky enough to have SKY the programme is Noel's HQ I think it is being shown at 7pm.

A car has been arranged to pick both Steve and myself up to take us to the studio and bring us home again tomorrow night.

I can't believe this is happening.

The Sunday Mirror article is being published for this Sunday's paper and I have no idea what that article will look like until it is in print.

Next week I am hoping to take a break away from everything and I am also going to a wedding at the weekend so a change of scene may do me good.

This week has been a topsy turvy one not with my writing, media but personal matters as well.

It is not all glamour doing tv shows. I can see why the celebrities who do it everyday get paid for it. It is very long days every day and then there are various guest appearances here there and everywhere for various things.

I do have down days too but on the whole this does not last long and I boost myself up back up again by counting my blessings everyday.

I am tired now and heading off to search my wardrobe for "the outfit".

Best wishes.


Thursday, 29 January 2009

Searching the Internet

How many of us use google or other such tools to find what we want on the internet? A few I bet but how many of us actually search our names on the internet?

Well I did just that for the simple reason my own website had gone down. Well I found some very interesting articles on the internet but one that struck a very poignant note. It was a tribute to someone called Fiona Stevenson who died at the age of 29 in the London bombings. Fiona was a successful lawyer.

Strange how coincidence hit home with me. What had I been training to be but a lawyer and had hoped to complete my degree.

It hit home that a very successful person had been taken from our midst and there was me, an unqualified person, untalented and not much to offer than hope to others and I was still surviving and the other Fiona was gone.

The tributes were all kind and Fiona's last day was told in the media.

I will never forget how I felt when I read about the Fiona Stevenson who was a successful lawyer in London. All I know is this Fiona Stevenson is here to stay for now and do her best to help others so that my life won't be wasted and that I will have achieved something by the end of it.

Best wishes.

Fee x

Official Wedding Pictures

Well yesterday was so hectic with the film crew that I forgot to mention just as I was letting them in that the official photograph book arrived through the post.

I have taken more time today to look at them and until you see a book like it you won't believe what I am saying. The photos are printed on the pages and cannot get lost or the plastic covering gets torn and a photograph comes out.

It is amazing how kind everyone has been to me. My old boss and his wife paid for this book as our wedding gift and we are absolutely thrilled and delighted to have it.

I promise you fellow writers I will bring it along to the February meeting so you can see what I mean. I have never seen anything like it in my life.

Oh well that is my posts so far for today don't think there will be anymore unless I have another sleepless night.

Strange but when I don't sleep writing comes ot me and I just let it out. Nothing ventured nothing gained I suppose.

Best wishes.


Tired but still fighting

Hi Everyone,

I am extremely tired after yesterday's exploits but am determined to keep going. This afternoon I have a photoshoot for the Sunday Mirror and then I can rest and catch up on some sleep.

With all the talk about bills yesterday after my power nap I could do nothing but worry about the bills that would be falling on the mat any day now. This worry and stress does not help my illness in fact cancer thrives on stress.

I try and alleviate it by not worrying and by paying one bill at a time. Its hard living from hand to mouth and having to work out what to do and not do and which bill to pay this month and shelve until next month.

I am going to take a break next week recharge my batteries and continue battling for those that are far worse off than me. It is the need to help others that keeps me going and my battles continue.

One day I will win and I will be proud of what I have achieved until life is fairer for cancer patients I will not cease my fight.

Best wishes to you all.


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Media Day


I knew I was going to be busy today but didn't really know how busy. Well the Sky film crew arrived at 11 am and did not leave until gone 3 pm. I had saved taking my tablets until they arrived as they wanted to film me doing this.

I was worried I was going to gag on big capsule which is red and white and to me feels huge when in my mouth. Luckily the retakes were of the first pill and the last one not the huge one which I put in the middle of the scene.

I was out of routine which is not good for anyone ill whatever illness it is. Well filming started and went on. Faffing about in the kitchen and burning my thumb with the kettle slightly while trying to produce the effect of steam. Oh boy I was trying so hard to get things to go the way the film crew wanted them. Many people think filming is glamorous it isn't it can be boring and many times you wonder if you are doing what they producers and directors want you to do. It is then you worry and start to change things and discover what you were doing in the first place was what they wanted.

Next it was a sit down with a cup of coffee. During this time the furniture is being tweaked and moved about all round the house. You have to see it to believe it but the effects at the end are worth it according to the film crew.

Obscuring cables was what took most of the time this morning and pictures got strategically placed for this purpose.

So there we all are five of us in our little house getting on well and working as a team.

The interview then takes place. Its hard as the interviewer is not actually being filmed so the questions come and I have to answer them very accurately repeating various words and phrases that are key to the point that is being made.

This is tricky and sometimes the mind wanders. It is at times like this I feel insane and hope that what I am saying is ok. Not many retakes were done and as I know they will edit the film when they get back to the studio and probably use only half of what they actually filmed if that.

Continuity is a key issue our net curtains had been taken down at the end of the interview and then they were filming a piece for the beginning so the net curtain had to go back up again. So as you can see it is not glamourous it is a labour of love.

Why was I being filmed? I was being filmed for MacMillan Cancer Supports campaign for cold weather payments to be given to cancer patients. If you are not on Income Support or other particular benefits you do not qualify for this payment automatically and therefore it makes life harder when the cold weather strikes for those who are so ill and vulnerable that need to heat their home constantly and can't afford to.

It is not just the credit crunch that has brought this situation about to cancer patients. Prior to the credit crunch the financial implications were brought about by one person losing an income coming in due to illness and when a household loses half its income trouble strikes. Budgets go out the window and have to be revamped. It is times like these that cancer patients are hit hardest and do not know how to cope or who to turn to. This is where MacMillan Cancer Support come in. They offer advice, counselling and support so that cancer patients and their families do not feel alone.

MacMillan Cancer Support also offers grants for help with financial issues but they have limited funds and why should a charity have to tuck into its coffers to provide financial assistance which is given by the government to other vulnerable groups.

It is for this reason I have been busy campaigning to make the plight of cancer patients heard so that their financial hardships can come to an end and that they only have one battle on their hands and that is to fight the illness which caused the financial difficulties in the first place.

Stress can aggravate cancer. Lack of heat can contribute to other health factors like chest infections, asthma, heart attacks, strokes and worst of all hypothermia.

It has been reported in all the media how heavily burdened the NHS has been with patients affected by the cold weather if they had been able to pay their heating bills this would have been reduced.

Another factor is an unheated house is not only cold but also damp sets in. This then brings other health issues with it.

In the summer I have to have the heating on as I cannot regulate my body temperature like normal people do. I feel the cold more than most and therefore even when the sun is shining can have a thick furry cardigan on just to take the chill off.

I have not asked to be ill and neither have other cancer patients. I deal with the hand that has been dealt me as best as possible. I am not brave I just cope.

Tonight I discovered a message on the answerphone from the Sunday Mirror. I returned the call and did an interview with the journalist. I think I made him realise how big an impact this has on everyone. He said to me, "Celebrities are not affected by the financial issues". I retorted "Oh yes they are. If they have one income coming in where there was two their household income has halved and therefore their budgets have to be changed to accommodate the loss".

The government have said that everyone should eat five fruit and veg a day. When you have limited income you eat tins of food or eggy bread and have no money for the luxuries of fresh fruit and veg.

You have to choose who to pay and which is your priority.

When I had my 13th operation the week after I got married my husband said despite the consequences we had to have the heating on to help me recover. Then just before Christmas I got every bug that was going so could not go away as planned this meant sleeping on our living room floor on a sofa bed and just heating the living room to keep me warm and hopefully make me well again.

As I wrote in my first post I hope this blog opens up the issues and explores them from both sides of the coin so that one day a solution can be found for those that follow.

Best wishes to you all.


Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Dear All

Why have I chosen to do a blog. Well first of all my life has changed and is changing in many ways. Instead of sitting here feeling depressed about what has happened and is happening to me I look at the positives.

An example the cost of passports is approximately £72 and lasts for ten years. Some people think this is expensive but if you look at it and break it down it is about £7.20 per year for the ten years that it runs for. A positive outlook on it.

Since 2005 my life has changed. Yes I nearly gave up and did what I never thought I would do. I took an overdose and nearly gave up on life.

Now I know I am here for a reason and it is this reason that keeps me going. I love helping others and to do this I raise awareness of the issues that affect my everyday life and other people that I come into contact with.

Many people think I am brave. I am not I just cope with what life throws at me just like anyone else does. Many people are far worse off than me and that is what keeps me going.

I have good days and bad just like anyone else but on the whole I am a happy person who keeps focusing on the good I can do in life and at the same time find some way each day to make life easier for those that follow in this journey that I have been given.

It is for this reason that I have started this blog.

I hope when you realise what I am trying to achieve that you will look at your own life and say "Wow if she can do that and cope so can I".

It is for this reason I am writing a book and through Wrekin Writers that I have been encouraged to do this blog too.