Throwing caution to the winds.

Is anyone else diving out the door at the first opportunity whenever the sun peers through the clouds or is it just me? Following the lousy summer we’ve had so far, I simply can’t bear to waste a moment of it. Throwing caution to the winds and not caring if I looked like mutton dressed as lamb, I even went as far as donning my pedal pusher trousers and my open toed sandals. Even the raincoat and umbrella were left at home!  Foolhardy? Tempting fate? Once again my destination was the doctors and I had allowed a good half hour for my walk down. I can walk a lot faster when K is not with me. She is going swimming this morning with Day Care and I confess that I really envied her as she set off. 

For once I had remembered to grab my watch but a quick glance reminded me that I hadn’t made allowances for the frequent stops along the way I was tend to make these days taking snaps with my phone. I had to adjust my walking speed accordingly and although my doctor is always running late, the one time that I risk it and arrive late will probably be the one time that she is running to time. It’s a gorgeous day. Everyone I pass seem so cheerful.

Good morning! Isn’t it lovely to be out in the sunshine?”

Yes, and not before time!” I reply.

Following my stint at the doctors, I pick up my prescription and saunter down to town, no longer having to rush. Nearly every person I encounter is dressed either in shorts or cool summer clothes. Its so colourful after the dingy sight we’ve all become used to of raincoats, umbrellas and the like. I linger outside Websters furniture shop, peering in the windows at their recliner suites and chairs. I ponder for what must be the hundredth time on how they manage to be about the only shop in Brighouse that has survived. I have yet to see any customers in the shop purchasing anything. Most of their stock is very expensive and yes, okay, the best quality, but this is hardly what I would consider an affluent area. Yet I reason to myself, someone must be buying it for whilst other shops have died a death in our town, Websters marches on.

Merrie England scrumptious home made apple pie.

I enter Merrie England and stand at the ‘take away’ part of the counter to order a Turkey Salad on Gluten free bread. As usual, its quite full and there are probably as many customers sat outside in the back area enjoying the sunshine.  I was tempted to linger myself and have one of their delicious decaff cappuccino’s but had second thoughts, seeing as I intend to walk home and not waste any of this glorious sunshine. Trouble is, I am stood directly opposite the display of their fantastic home made apple pies, which are sorely testing my willpower. At last she hands me my sandwich, I pay and saunter on to Hartley’s bread shop for K’s order of a Chicken Tikka and onion sandwich with salad cream on white bread. (Yes, she has strange tastes, my daughter.)  I also purchase a side salad for my lunch and a piece of Quiche.

My walk home is very enjoyable, I’m in no hurry and anyway, its slightly uphill with some steep bits, so I take my time, greeting people who are busy in their gardens as I pass. We’re all mostly a friendly bunch, its one of the reason’s I like living here, practically everyone knows everyone else and that’s the way I like it. By the time I arrive back home, I’m lathered and have to open most of the windows to compensate. I’d much rather be too hot than cold though, and I quickly set too making my Quiche and salad lunch. It’s been so enjoyable, being able to throw caution to the winds for once and leave that blasted umbrella at home!

Technogran

Incognito.

I set off from the safety and privacy of my home.  With a furtive glance around as I lock the door, I step outside and walk swiftly along the estate paths with my hands tucked inside the pockets of my warm coat. Its chilly and despite the presence of the sun in a clear sky, it affords no warmth.  My face and cheeks quickly become chilled and my feet quicken on the ground as I walk past ‘the house that should have been mine if I’d won the lottery’. Someone is braving the cold conditions and hammering away nearby, the sound echoing eerily in the cold air. So far I have seen no one that knows me. So far so good.

Keeping up the pace, I quickly arrive at the narrow path that runs alongside the junior school. A lady is walking down in front of me, and in exactly the same way that I detest someone walking behind me, she keeps turning round to look at me as if to reassure herself that I am no threat to her.  I step up my speed with the intentions of passing her but as I draw alongside, she begins a conversation with me about the weather which moves onto how we both detest walking in the rain and then ends in the subject of people we both know who make the mistake of buying houses out in the middle of nowhere and the problems that can cause in winter. We part company in town and I continue on to my selected destination, the Merrie England Coffee shop. Before entering, I have to visit the cashpoint for some money as I find that my purse doesn’t actually contain  all that much in the way of coinage, and cups of cappuccino and sandwiches are unfortunately not free.

I enter the cafe and quickly glance around the tables that I am able to view from the doorway. Thankfully I don’t see any familiar faces, but from that viewpoint the whole seating area is not visible. However the seat where I had planned to sit in order to remain inconspicuous is occupied by a lady wearing  a red coat. The assistant, who is obviously a new girl as one of the older assistants is stood at her side showing her how to input items into the till, takes my order.

A large decaffeinated Cappuccino please and a Turkey and salad sandwich on Gluten free bread.’

None  of the assistants behind the counter seem to be giving me strange glances despite the fact that they know me by sight.  Nor do they seem particularly surprised by my unfamiliar appearance. My confidence grows. Still, I wish the lady in the corner seat at the far end would kindly get up and leave.  After receiving my coffee I am forced to sit down at a middle table as all the others are occupied.  I see someone I used to live near to sat at one of the far tables. She recognises me instantly and says hello with a smile. My nerves are on edge. In order to appear calm and collected I drink some of the coffee whilst waiting for my sandwich to arrive.  When it does, I enjoy it despite the fact that its really too early for lunch.  Another lady arrives that I am acquainted with and smiles a greeting. The lady in red sat in the far corner folds up her magazine that she was reading and leaves by the back door. I quickly pick up my half eaten sandwich and coffee and make my way to the corner bench seat.

Tucking myself right into the corner as if vainly trying to melt into the walls, I can now observe everyone whilst remaining fairly inconspicuous.  Or so I hope.  I’m feeling much more confident now. Those people who know me by sight have not stared or looked strangely at me, or worse looked shocked or burst into howls of laughter.  I finish eating my sandwich and spend the next few minutes scrutinizing the other occupants. At the opposite corner from me sits an elderly gentleman who rather reminds me of a cow chewing its cud seeing as his mouth is constantly making chewing movements, yet strangely I do not see any food on the table in front of him.  Perhaps this is some habit he has, perhaps he is always making chewing movements. I drink some more coffee which has by now gone cold. At the table directly next to me are three people, a man and two ladies. The ladies are sat on the bench seat next to the wall, whilst the man is seated opposite on a chair.  I don’t take in their conversation at all, despite the fact that I can hear it clearly as my mind is occupied elsewhere, mainly toying with the decision on whether or not to take full advantage of the sunshine and walk home rather than catch a bus.

Another lady who is familiar to me has sat down at a table directly in front of me and smiles as she does so.  My confidence is building with every single smile of recognition.  I check the time on my phone and leave the cafe with my usual ‘goodbye girls’ parting to the staff as I walk out of the door into the cold winter sunshine.  Having decided that I will walk home using an entirely different route I set off.  This route takes me along the main road but strangely I don’t see anyone I know.  It ends in a rather steep walk up a hill where I find myself beginning to flag a little and my aching back isn’t helping.  At last I arrive back home feeling really pleased with myself.  It has all gone far better than I had imagined!  What on earth had possessed me anyway? I have never considered myself to be vain at all, and to be so concerned about my appearance to others and what others would think, especially at my age, was in hindsight a complete mystery to me. I feel confident enough now to do the same tomorrow for our journey down to exercise class.

Having the confidence to face the world outside and let them see the new me, that’s all that was needed, so I’m so proud that today I plucked up the courage to go out without wearing my wig!

TG

A most unwelcome visitor

 

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 Following the last few days of constant rain and gale force winds, which have caused me personally to be confined indoors as I simply refuse to go out in the rain, we were able to venture out this morning and enjoy some glorious sunshine and blue skies at last.  ‘Hurray’ I thought as we walked down to town, enjoying the rare glimpsed winter sun in the sky, ‘let’s hope that’s the last of the rain!’ only to have my hopes instantly dashed as we landed home and found the dreaded card laying on our doormat.  Yes, you’ve guessed it! He’s been! The best rainmaker in the whole wide world has called whilst we were out! So sorry everyone, it will be rain as usual from today, my blasted window cleaners been!

TG Steaming mad

A solo walk in the sunshine

As K was off with her Dad this morning, I was left to my own devices. The other members of Heartbeat were going on a walk from Mirfield along the canal where they planned to have lunch in the Railway Inn, one of my personal favourite venues. We haven’t been able to go with them on a walk for quite some time owing to my treatment, so I was upset that I wouldn’t be able to go with them on this walk.

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A solo walk in the sunshine

As K was off with her Dad this morning, I was left to my own devices. The other members of Heartbeat were going on a walk from Mirfield along the canal where they planned to have lunch in the Railway Inn, one of my personal favourite venues. We haven’t been able to go with them on a walk for quite some time owing to my treatment, so I was upset that I wouldn’t be able to go with them on this walk. Not wanting to waste such a glorious sunny day, I decided to do a solo walk. Setting off from the flat and walking through the cemetery at the side of our estate, then Finkil Street and then down Catherine Slack, up Whinney Hill and back home thereby walking in a rough sort of square.

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Off on another spending spree!

Dragged out today on some lame brained pretext that I needed (or the world might end) a new pair of grey trousers from Marks and Spencer’s by my ‘money no object’ daughter, but at least it gives me something to write about. I haven’t been feeling too well following this last chemo session, it has taken me far longer to ‘come round’ and so blogging took a back seat in the list of things to occupy my time. Sorry about that. Anyway, onto the shopping trip. As many will be aware from previous posts, although we are all led to believe that the shopping trip is entirely for my benefit, its strange how it always ends with  K arriving home with more purchases than I.

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