Sunday, 19 June 2011

Happy Fathers Day - From Harry

A fathers day message from Harry, written as directed from your little man:-

I miss you Daddy really lots. I wish you didn't die so you can cuddle me and kiss me loads and loads and loads. For fathers day I would like to get you loads and loads of beer!
Happy fathers day love from Harry

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Teenage Drama!

Rebecca turned 13 last Friday! 13!!! I am the mother of a teenager - eeek! This prompted my forgetful brain to do a reflection on birthdays gone by with our beloved Daddy Richie:-

Age 4 2002
Becca’s fourth birthday party was a traditional at home party with a bouncy castle in the garden (albeit in my Mum & Dad’s garden as mine was resembling a jungle at the time!). This was only a short period of time after Becca had met Rich with her introductory kick on his shins (mentioned on previous blog posts!). Egg sandwiches, party games, bouncy castle and obligatory party bags for all the mini-guests! Once all the children had left and Becca was tucked up in bed, myself, Katy and Richie tucked into some Smirnoff Ice (classy!) and took over the bouncy castle! Luckily breaking no limbs in the process.
We also took Becca out the following day for an additional birthday treat for a trip to Legoland. At this point Becca still had a very much love/hate relationship going on with Richie – jealous of anyone taking her Mum’s attention! We had a nice day at Legoland up to the point of exiting the amusement park. Anyone who has been knows that there is a fairly steep climb to reach the entrance and out into the car park. Richie therefore took the helm pushing the buggy much to Becca’s disgust. Who shared her distaste by screaming and putting her feet to the floor to make pushing her as difficult as possible. With grim determination Richie would not be beaten, and gritted his teeth, laid the buggy backwards and carried on pushing! Slightly stressful experience at the time but no doubt highly amusing to all the passers-by!

Age 5 2003
For Rebecca’s 5th birthday we decided that as a grown-up school girl she could invite her entire class to a party at our local village hall, and we hired an entertainer to look after them all – sounds easy! Add in a few ham/jam sandwiches, crisps and some cakes to sugar up the kids! The party was a roaring success aside from one of her little friends complaining about the ‘cheap’ ham I had put in the sandwiches – who knew that 5 year olds could be so precious about a slice of ham!

Age 6 2004
Rebecca’s last birthday as an only child J
We had moved to Maidenhead at this point so we felt it was important to do an invite the entire class again! This time we made it easier on ourselves and booked Cheeky Charlies and associated catering so it was easy peasy!
Worst part was burning my elbow on the slide on the way down and the majority of the kids freaking out when ‘Cheeky Charlie’ (Large yellow and green dinosaur!) comes to say Happy Birthday!

Age 7 2005

With a small infant in toe you would think we would go for an easier option again, but no alas not! We booked the local church hall and a DJ for a fancy-dress disco! Myself, Katy and Richie frantically making sandwiches to cater for the masses and my bright idea for cutting the sandwiches into animal shapes was very much being frowned on by us all mid way through the catering process!
Bex was dressed-up as Cinderella and Harry a frog! We have lots of video footage from the day which Harry loves watching – especially seeing his Dad and hearing his voice.
I very much remember at this party beginning to panic about Harry growing up as we watched the 7 year old boys have ‘play’ fights with lightsabres and swords etc!

Age 8 2006

Back to good old Bouncy Castle in the garden. School friends invited over and we had to extend the time they could stay so we didn't clash drop offs or pick-ups with the England game that was playing that day! It meant we had a house of 8 year olds for 4 hours!!!!

Age 9 2007
Argh memory blank on this one (I told you I had the memory of a sieve!). When it comes back to me I will add on the detail. I know that we were pretty tight for cash as it was less than 2 weeks to our wedding date so there was definitely no party but I cannot remember how we celebrated.

Age 10 2008
How one year can make a massive difference on your life. Rewind one year and not only were we celebrating Becca turning 8 but me and Richie were very excited about our upcoming wedding celebrations and honeymoon in Thailand, and now we were faced with cancer.
We planned Becca’s birthday celebration around Richie’s chemo regime and hoped that he would be strong enough to celebrate with us. We booked a day at Thorpe Park with Becca’s extended family and her cousins. Unfortunately Richie never made it as his treatment had made him weak and unwell so we had to go without him. Myself, Harry and Becca met with her Dad and his family at Thorpe Park. We had a great day, although Richie was sorely missed – especially as we loved going to theme parks together and have lots of happy memories of our numerous theme park outings.

Age 11 2009
The first without Richie, just 6 months after he passed away. It all seems like a long time ago, and not the situation we had envisaged the year before. This year Rebecca had a party at Spa Kool a local spa salon. Her and 5 friends made bubble bath, soap, had their nails done and glittery temporary tatoo's (which were pretty cool and secretly I wanted one too!)

Age 12 2010
Pink ugg boots was the theme of this particular birthday! The much wanted boots went down a treat when they were unwrapped! We celebrated with dinner at TGI Friday's with all of the family. Rebecca has 9 cousins - all boys - so it was an extremely noisy affair!

Age 13 2011
And now she's a teenager argh! Birthday celebrations covered a plethora of things, sleepover, dinner out, BBQ, hottub with her friends and then Chessington World of Adventures. Needless to say that we were exhausted by the end of it!

Rebecca with her Daddy Richie:-

Monday, 28 March 2011


In one weeks time Harry turns 6! Time goes so fast, I can remember the look of shock when Richard realised he was to become a Daddy!

This has also made me realise that my memory is at times shocking, therefore thought it was important to reflect back on Harry's birthdays gone by as when we get to next week he will have only shared half of them with his beloved Daddy.

4th April 2005 - Harry was born a few minutes before midnight, so only just managed to grab the easy to remember 04/04 birth date! We both cried the moment we first saw our little 'peanut'. Richie also cried in relief a few days later that I was no longer pregnant - apparently I was a bit of a hormonal nightmare but surely this isn't true ;)

4th April 2006 - Harry's 1st birthday was celebrated with a boozy BBQ in the back garden. Perhaps not the theme that Harry would have wanted but he had lots of cuddles and fuss so pretty sure he didn't mind too much! Our friend Gary made Jamie Oliver burgers on the BBQ which were lush, although Richie couldn't appreciate their quality being a devout veggie :)

4th April 2007 - We had a chilled day swimming and playing in the park, followed by a family tea in the evening. In general fairly low-key but just 2 months away from our wedding we were rather skint!

4th April 2008 - The last with his Daddy. We spent the day at Chessington World of Adventures. Harry had a blast, particularly on the Jumbo's with his Dad

2009 and 2010 birthdays were both tainted with the sadness that Richie was not there to see Harry grow (and get more boisterous!) something that Richie himself reflected on in earlier blog posts before he passed away. Next week I am sure will be the same but we will be keeping busy with a bouncy themed party on Saturday and family dinner on the Monday with our new unique little family.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Positive Attitude

This blog post comes from Tim Elliot. Tim emailed me a week ago to see if he could write a 'guest blog' for Richie's site. Tim is very passionate about maximising cancer patient's mental and physical health, and how best to cope with terminal illness. I'm sure Richie would be well impressed to know people want to guest write on his site. Anyway, here goes.........

Can Cheering Up Help Your Body Cope With Cancer?
Scientists studying the new field of physchoneuroimmunology, which involves examining the nervous and immune systems interactions, have discovered that the advice “just stay positive” positive might actually have a physical basis in helping the body cope with cancer. New studies show that the power of positive thinking might actually help to increase cancer patients’ chances of survival because positive emotional experiences can actually often boost the body’s immune system.
Although the link between positive thinking and cancer treatment is still under consideration and further study, what is certain is that there is a direct, harmful connection between stress and cancer. Chemicals that are produced in significant amounts when you are stressed, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, are proven to have an effect on tumor growth. Norepinephrine in particular, has been proven to induce cancerous tumor cell growth in mice and is thought to play a role in ovarian cancer in humans. Even in cancers caused by environmental toxins, such as mesothelioma, and genetic factors, such as breast cancer, there are thought to benefits to staying positive that are attributed to the interplay between the improved mental and emotional condition of patients and their immune systems. For example, the average mesothelioma life expectancy is only a little over a year- but it’s believed that a positive outlook can extend it by up to several months.
Of course, it can be extremely difficult to stay positive when coping with cancer. With the increase in knowledge on how positivity can affect the outlook of cancer, more doctors have begun suggesting more measures aimed at boosting emotional and mental health. More and more often doctors have begun to suggest cancer patients participate in support groups, and exercise regularly. Exercise directly boosts people’s mood by stimulating various chemicals in the brain, and because cancer support groups present patients with a community of others who have been in a similar situation they provide an emotional buffer. In the end though it’s important to remember that that phrase we always hear- “Just stay positive”- might have a lot more power to it than you ever thought.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Its Been A While.....

Its been a very long time since I have posted an update on here and I feel very guilty about that. I've been putting myself under pressure to make sure the long awaited post was witty/clever/inspiring by having sadly not had any writing brainwaves!

Luckily for me a lovely old school friend of Richie's - Gary - has recently been in touch and sent me, Harry and Becs some fab school photos, so what a perfect way to kick off some new bloggin!

No need to ask which one 'Tall Fella' is and if you coloured his hair blonde Harry would defo be his mini-me!!