It is a dark Malaysian night, punctuated by a full moon and bright head torches. A small group of us sets out, swathed in shawls against the night chill. We are looking for tarantulas.
Have been suffering the proverbial ‘writers’ block’ recently; can’t marshall my creativity into a firm direction. A bit depressing really. The SG50 celebrations did nothing to raise my spirits as it was mainly a wash out – the highlight of the weekend being England winning the Ashes in spectacular fashion. Continue reading
An update on my health for my loyal followers.
On the morning of the book launch, I went and had my quarterly chest x-ray and annual MRI on the remains of the leg. Then I promptly forgot about it – I feel so well – until yesterday. Continue reading
This journey began well before I started writing my blog, before Louise and my father died and before Ross and I got cancer…it is the book I have been working on as a tribute to my mother and her war experiences, which left her ‘bursting with pride’.
Finally we have a day to remember, one where we see no other tourists, western or otherwise. We are headed for the monastery of Tenduling (Dondrupling in Mandarin), founded the same year (1667) as Ganden Sumtseling in Shangri La. It’s a good 100km, and the spanking new road cuts swathes through the rugged landscape – criss-crossing bridges over the Yangtze gorge, suspended on monolithic pylons and viaducts, boring through impenetrable hillsides with 3 km long tunnels. Everywhere roadside kiosks are springing up to cater for the long-distance lorry drivers – and the Chinese tourist. This is the main road to Lhasa. It is breath-taking and impressive. Whatever you say about the Chinese, they are single-minded masters of road-building and engineering. Continue reading
Day 3, Xizhou, and we meet Hom, our Bai guide for the next three days. He takes us to the market, where we get our first glimpse of Bai women in their national dress, selling all kinds of magnificent fruit – huge green mangoes with bright orange flesh, bayberries, redcurrants, mulberries, large crisp red apples, nectarines and peaches, as well as all the greens – pak choi, choi sum, kai lan, cabbages of all shapes and sizes, red and green spinach, spring onions and chives all shapes and sizes,the list is endless. Plus the more revolting sights of a woman beheading chickens, fly-blown meat, fish, eels and frogs in tanks – we are in China, after all. Continue reading
I have been having a very health conscious couple of weeks – more acupuncture (agony this time) for the shoulder which six months on is still not better. I am also aware that my 18 month check is due, and my bad leg has also been twinging – whether I banged it diving or, as Mrs Ang (Prof’s wife) says as she gaily sticks more needles into it to kick start the system (the old ‘No pain, no gain’ mantra ringing in my ears), my circulation is not good enough, I don’t know. Whatever…
So I decided to look at the healing properties of coconut, which I published first on my http://www.healthylivingwithcancer.co site. My findings have excited me so much that I am sharing them with you all.
I can see you all rolling your eyes and thinking this is just another crackpot health claim. I thought so too until I read the book, Coconut Cures by Brice Fife, that a kind dinner guest gave me recently. Now I have substituted coconut oil for all others in my cooking (and changed all the recipes on this site accordingly!), am adding 2 tsp to my daily granola and fruit, and dressing my lunchtime salad with it (plus balsamic and lime). Soon I daresay I shall be rubbing it in to my scalp where I have pre-cancerous sun damage which freezing has failed to cure and using it as sun tan oil instead of Nivea or Ambre Solaire.
Yes, dear reader, I am a convert!
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‘I won’t ski if the conditions are bad,’ I promise my well-meaning friends who, anxious about my continuing whiplash, are disapproving of my Easter holiday plans. This is easy in the first three days as the mist clings to the valley and the rain seems never-ending. The boys (husband, son and friend) are all gung-ho and of course sally forth daily, although a lot of time is spent in mountain restaurants. Continue reading
So here we are, four years on, and I need a new challenge.
Writing the book about my mother and her war (Love and War in the WRNS, to be published in June) – one of the best periods of her life of which she was justly extremely proud – provided solace and therapy after all the bereavements and stress we have suffered over the past few years: the deaths of my mother, father and Louise, plus both Ross and I being diagnosed with cancer. Continue reading
‘It’s the worst season for 12 years: no decent powder since December.’ Not what European snow refugees want to hear of Niseko, Japan, the powder Mecca of the world!