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Comfortably numb…


Is resting in a place.


I have an open inbox policy at

Next door’s cat.

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post – op post :-)

Nicky (@4boysareplenty) came back to her room at 12.03, awake but not quite with it. She has got more with it as the day has gone on and has just managed half a shortbread and a cuppa through a straw.

The consultant has been to see her twice, he says the operation went well. The tumour was quite large and constrictive in the nerve canal, there was a nerve through the tumour.

She has to stay on her back for 48 hours but they also have her swapping sides at intervals. It will be Thursday before she is allowed to sit up and will then be assessed for physio. In the meantime she has some ankle rotating to perfect.

My wife is in hospital…

Nicky (@4boysareplenty) is having an operation today, an ‘upper lumber laminectomy for microscopic excision of intramural tumour’ to be precise. She has a benign tumour which has attached itself to (or grown from) a nerve within her spinal chord cavity. The tumour (neurofibroma) is about the size of a grape and will probably have been growing for about the last 10 years.

The symptoms of this have been sudden and intense sciatic type pain in her leg, usually at the worst possible times for her, ie while walking to school or maybe lifting George etc.

The operation is to cut into her spine to access the cavity and remove the tumour from the nerve.

We checked her into hospital at 6.45 this morning, I left her at 7.30 to come get the boys to school. She texted me at 8.30 to say the consultant had seen her and she’d be going to theatre shortly.

I got back to wait for her at 10.  There’s no bed, sure enough she’s in theatre.  She is likely going to have to lay down for the next 24 hours and will be in hospital until Friday we expect.

I will update further later on. Just to say also thank you to our friends who are rallying round to help Xx

Santa brought George a walker…

You may remember that in the summer Nicky found a walker for George on Ebay, but it was in Aberdeen and we live in Cheshire.  Not such a problem you may say but it was such a big awkward shape that transporting it would have been so costly probably making it too expensive a purchase.    We posted our plight to Twitter and after a number of RTs @HarbourHussy and @HappyHammer66 (Dave) from up near Aberdeen very kindly offered to get it down to us and so they did.

For our part we drove up to York to meet Dave and collect the walker, we had a great day and we are very grateful for his family’s kindness, generosity and it was an absolute pleasure to meet and spend time with Dave’s lot.

The walker was always going to be a Christmas present for George and has spent the last few months in pieces in the playroom, until today.  Today because we have only just got the lounge floor cleared from the Christmas chaos.   Tonight we assembled it and popped George in it.


George enjoying his new walker.

In truth he isn’t quite big enough yet, just talking weeks off being tall enough, that said, in the time it took me to upload the picture to Facebook for family to see, yup you guessed it, he grasped the fundamentals and moved across the room. There may have been tears of joy here :’-)

George does use a walker at school but it’s one that needs somebody to accompany him and he has occasional use of it at home but it isn’t practical.  This, we hope, will give him a little more independence to move around using his legs, he loves to stand and can get about holding onto furniture but has become a little lazy in such that if he wants to get somewhere fast he drops to all fours and crawls.
Tonight, with a little help, he moved from the lounge through the hall and kitchen to the utility and back again.

When he returns to school we’ll take advice from his physio regarding amount of use etc.  For now though we are celebrating that George does continue to surprise us on a regular basis with his achievements :-)

Birthday Breakfast

So last night being the eve of Nicky’s birthday I spent time with each of the offspring in turn, helping with wrapping and card writing etc.  Once the youngsters had gone to bed it was time to spend a little time with my good wife before we turned in for the night.

I say ‘we’, I now needed a little time to do some wrapping and also needed to do a little preparation for Nicky’s birthday breakfast.  This is a ‘special number’ birthday so even though it was a working day I was going to whizz up a small treat.



I’d decided to follow a recipe I’d found on the internet (link below) of creamy baked eggs with hot salmon and chives.

Yesterday afternoon I nipped to the supermarket and bought all the component parts, including a lovely loaf for toasting.  I even bought a couple of mini-casserole pot style ramekins for ‘presentation purposes’, upping my game if you like.  Austerity measures mean no big spending on presents so the little touches count.

So after I’d wrapped the gifts I set about prepping the breakfast and popping it in the fridge as per the method.  Set the oven to pre-heat in the morning, went to bed.


This morning I got up in time to make a start on breakfast, I’d laid the kitchen out for things to run smoothly including having some of the boys breakfast items ready.  I’d run a bowl of washing up water as otherwise it was inevitable that when it came time to cut and dash to work I’d leave the kitchen resembling Beirut and I didn’t want that, not today.

So breakfast is in the oven, I’m aware of the time it’s taking so take Nicky a cup of tea, by this time the kids are stirring from slumber.  I return downstairs, do a little washing up, start the toast.

The oven pinger goes, I give the egg whites a poke, looking good.

Out of the oven it comes, carefully I tip the water out of the roasting tin into the sink.


Not careful enough, the ramekins contents and all dive into the sink, into the dirty washing water. Bloody hell!!!

I went upstairs to explain to my hungry customer that the ‘eggs were off the menu’, a second choice of cereal was graciously accepted.  On the upside there was some salmon left so breakfast was toast and salmon with sugar puffs to follow in the lovely new ramekin pots.

2013-10-29 08.04.45


Recipe Link:

Rob and Paul go cycling for charity

Sponsor us please

I know it’s not long since I asked you to sponsor me when I ran the Manchester 10k, however I’ve had my arm twisted to do another sponsored event…

This time we are just asking for everybody who knows us for a £1 donation, sponsor us by texting RHPR50 £1 to 70070.  Alternatively visit our Just Giving page at  to make a donation.

Our friend Gillian and my wife Nicky volunteer at Stockport CP (Cerebral Palsy) Wheelers disabled cycling club and are keen to raise funds to keep this great service open.  To this end Gillian convinced her husband Rob to cycle the Manchester 100k and I got roped in…

The Manchester 100k is on September 1st, now where did I put my bike?

Feel free to donate what you can but as we see it if everyone who sees this gives us a quid we’ll do very nicely for the charity.

My son George has cerebral palsy and has had many great times at the Stockport CP Wheelers, sometimes with his older brothers.

The CP Wheelers offers an ‘all ability’ weekly cycling session for disabled adults, children and young people.

They have a variety of adapted cycles to enable individuals of all abilities to experience and enjoy cycling and there is also a Café during the sessions.

Read more about the Wheelers here:,-my-market/leisure-opportunities/sports-and-exercise/cp-wheelers.aspx

Read more about Stockport CP Society here:

Where did that come from…

I just watched a movie, ‘Away From Her’ :

A man coping with the institutionalization of his wife (Julie Christie) because of Alzheimer’s disease faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man, Aubrey, a wheelchair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home.

We weren’t really watching it, I was doing some work on my laptop, my wife was on the iPad, we had watched TV together earlier. Just before midnight Nicky went off to bed, I needed a few more minutes to finish my work.

I called her back for a goodnight kiss but she laughed that she was just going to get her phone for charging upstairs, she didn’t come back, setting off upstairs.  Sometimes if she goes to bed before me and I know I’ll be a while I’ll go up and tuck her in, no not a euphemism, well not in that way anyhow, just meaning a goodnight kiss, a hug.  I didn’t expect to be long so I carried on working, half watching the film.

It only took about five more minutes of Julie Christie’s Alzheimer’s and her not recognising her husband and I started to weep uncontrollably. I had to go upstairs and claim that goodnight hug and kiss.  As she held me I told her that she has to go to see her doctor about her sore leg, she’s promised that she will.

I came down to watch the rest of the film, my conclusion is that you should live the life you can, while you can.  You can be stripped of your memories and still have time to fill,  it’s a shitty disease that Alzheimer’s


What if:

We’ve been deciding what we’d do if we won any of the following denominations on the lottery.  We now have a plan for each instance.

£50, 000

Without giving away specific personal circumstances, what would your plans be?

She’s gone, let’s fix stuff…

The Thatcher dispatcher has done his bit, we all know Margaret Thatcher knocked the Great (that it seems Clement Attlee put there?) off Great Britain.  How do we become great again?

I don’t mean Great as in empire constructing, colony gathering etc, if that’s where ‘Great’ came from even. I mean great as in, caring, sharing and looking out for each other.  Looking after those who for some reason or another can’t do it for themselves.

How are we to redistribute wealth?  Where do we draw the line, speedboats?

Yes let us draw the line at speedboats.  Last night I watched The Syndicate, it’s a TV programme about normal people (I say normal, every one of them has a little criminal intent, acted on or otherwise, if not quite criminal then morally deviant), these normal people are in a lotto syndicate that wins £75m on the UK lottery.  One member of the syndicate is shown buying a luxury speedboat, because he can.

So, line drawn, speedboats.  No one is now allowed a speedboat as it’s a luxury expense too far when we need over £300bn to fund welfare including the NHS.  By my calculation, and by looking at the second hand Sunseeker Yacht market, that’s 75,000 of us who are going to have to give up our speedboats to fund this big spend.  Who’s with me?  Let’s brand this “Sunseekers for Jobseekers“.

Now we have a level playing field, no one has their boat anymore.  This isn’t enough, surely it isn’t fair that a shelf stacker may earn 9k while a CEO could be earning 100k.  Both people need the other position for the wheels of industry to turn therefore let them both have 50k.  Let’s throw the 9k difference into some sort of trust fund, not sure what for yet as we’ve already nearly created Perfect Britain.

Let us imagine for one minute that I’m Teal, the shelf stacker at your local Sainsbury’s and the above is my idea.  I now think that the above amazing idea (splitting the 100k) is worthy of reward above and beyond my 50k, but I’m not greedy so I’ll just take a one off 1k bonus, 8k can go in the trust fund.  If however I have another great idea next year then we’ll discuss this further as maybe I’m worth 51k per annum.

I’m now dreaming of how to use this extra money, it’s affecting my ability to continue drawing up this fair society.

Concentrate, level playing field, we all live in the same house now.  By the same house I mean same specification, not the SAME house that would be silly.  We can’t have things different otherwise the whole greed thing kicks in again.  We are all going to have the same magnolia box, 2.4 bedrooms, 1.9 children.  Clearly we need to kick Mr & Mrs Windsor out of Buckingham Palace for this to be fair.  Well not actually kick them out, there are 775 rooms that can be divided up between 155 families, maybe Liz and Phil get first choice for length of service?

What next then, what else do we need to do?  I’ve laid the foundation, it’s for you now to comment below, think long and hard about how to make society fair.  This model will be rolled out across the world when we’ve mastered it for although Margaret Thatcher invented ‘poor’ other likeminded people developed it for use in their countries worldwide.

Come together Perfect Britain, lets conquer the world, as a mutually agreeable collective…