Sunday, 25 February 2018

Trains Trains Trains

So how many model trains does one person need? Obviously very many if I am anything to go by. 

Another display case should join these this week and as I already have two display cases in another room I think that will be enough for the time being, apart from new releases, quite a few of which are planned for this year.

Gorgeous day today although just a little on the nips side, I managed to paint some planters and the garden gate, erm, the colour was supposed to be red but it looks a little pink to me but no matter I think I can live with it at least its a bit of contrast.

Finish painting the fence some brown on the small fence in the front garden then its get the soil dug and all the debris removed put some plants in, bit of pruning in the front garden next month when the worst of the cold weather has gone, small bit of decking in the back garden when I have a mind for it and that will just leave painting the garage door, amazingly apart from what I decide to do in the loft that will be the whole house and garden finished. Woo hoo!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Nice bit of Dereliction

Manchester Mayfield

Courtesy of I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours walking around Mayfield station, it was nice to do it without all the agro of climbing fences and dodging security. Mayfield is a very popular destination for explorers, unfortunately it is getting harder these days to get into sites as exploration is frowned upon by the powers that be, and often buildings are demolished as soon as they become empty to stop Arson and other stupid acts. Mayfield was going to be demolished a year or two back and sadly most of the Canopies were cut back but it gained a reprieve, the latest developers have plans to incorporate some of the building in a regeneration project with the usual apartments ,shops and green spaces. While this is all very laudable, the site should never have been sold and should have remained in railway ownership, something akin to selling the family silver! 
Piccadilly station is hopelessly over crowded, by both trains and passengers, especially the two through lines which form the main Manchester-Liverpool services, if anyone has had the misfortune to travel on the Trans Pennine Express trains they will know exactly what I am talking about, incredible that today's Health & Safety regime means that you can't sneeze without someone ready to take control and whisk you of to hospital yet train operators are allowed to force passengers to use platforms and trains that are dangerously over crowded. This is in 2018, what will happen in 10-20 years time? Mayfield could have been the safe guard for the future, through platforms built to ease the congestion at Piccadilly, dedicated platforms for London trains! Of course this would all have cost a colossal amount of money but so will the proposed development, unfortunatey a railway station would not generate vast wealth for a handful of people. 
This country puts profit before anything else and the powers that be are incapable of looking at the bigger picture and to the future, but then politicians and developers are not interested in the future as that will become someone else's problem, funny really as that's exactly the way it was in the 1950s 1960s.......

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


After over four months I have been out cycling, quite a big achievement and quite pleased with myself.
Nearly a month since I had my Heart operation and the stents inserted in my Artery, a bit grim at the time, I spent a night in Manchester Infirmary, not the nicest of hospitals, way to big and too many people trying to do too many things and then forgetting to do many of them. Of course I managed to pick up the fly bug while I was in there so the next couple of weeks when I should have been recovering I was in a very bad way feeling very rough, the worst part about it was I had no idea if the operation had worked or not, as I was so short of breath presumably from the flu that it was a good couple of weeks before my breathing settled down and it became obvious that the operation had been worth it. I still get a little short of breath but nothing really to worry about and I have had no feeling that I might get an Angina attack, hence why I started cycling again, it will take some while to get reasonably fit as I have no strength in my legs but its a start.
My Kidney functioning has been gradually deteriorating, quite a noticeable difference between November and January, unfortunately the Angiograms and Scans put a lot of pressure on the Kidney as the various contrast agents that are used do not do it any good. I have a CT scan in a couple of weeks time but it will be without contrast agent, it will be the first CT scan since I stopped the treatment back in August and I am not very optimistic about what it will show, the Clinical Trial treatment may have stopped shrinking the Tumours but it had stopped  them growing, the lump on my face that I had Radiotherapy for last month has grown quite considerably since August so much so that I am very wary of being seen around people as it really is gross now and I certainly can't go out without trying to cover it up, I am told that thanks to the Radiotherapy it should just drop off, but it is taking its time and its not nice to see it in the mirror each morning, it looks like something out of a horror film, and I have to be very careful now I am on blood thinning meds as once it starts to bleed it wont stop and it gets very messy.

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Chester Cathedral

My sister came to stay with me the other week, it was probably the longest we have spent together since we were kids and we had a great time, she has been so good to me since I have been ill and we get on so well and have a lot in common that I think neither of us realised. Her visit was very well timed as I was just starting to feel almost human so we were out most days and the walking and fresh air has done me a power of good. She is very into churches, so we visited a couple local that I have never been in and also managed three Cathedrals in two days. While obviously the buildings themselves are fascinating we also got a very warm welcome, Patsy has a habit of talking to anyone and everyone so we met some lovely people and while I am not particularly religious I do have a very open mind and enjoy talking to new people about their experiences.
I have to say I do feel the best I have felt for a year or more so I have many plans for the near future and quite a few expeditions planned, a few days in North Yorkshire this week a couple of trips to Glasgow and some local explores. My camera has been rather underused this past few months.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018


Day five done of my seven days in a row Hospital visits. Six days of Radiotherapy for the cancer on my cheek and a Heart Operation on Thursday in Manchester. The worst part of the Radiotherapy is the two hour round trip in the car, twice I have been on my way home before the time of my appointment. It is a little odd the treatment, i'm sure the equipment cost's thousands but there is no sensation at all, the equipment comes down out of the ceiling and is directed at my cheek then everyone leaves the room for a couple of minutes and then it is done, no sound, no vibration or feeling of any sort! I think the staff are just sitting outside playing cards and it is a big scam haha. Joking aside I hope it does work, as for the last couple of months I have a permanent plaster on my cheek as the lump looks hideous and is growing quite quickly and it is a very odd feeling to look in a mirror and actually see my cancer.
Thursday I am off to Manchester Royal Infirmary for an operation on my heart, along with thousands of others I got a call the other day to cancel it until 15th February but very fortunately when they read up on my circumstances it was reinstated, the thought of having to wait yet another month really knocked me sideways, a horrible position to be in, those poor people who have had their operations cancelled have my heart felt sympathy.
Lots of talk in the press about people at risk in the cold weather and the Flu that seems to be sweeping the country. The cold weather has caused me a lot of problems with my breathing and it is easy to see how things could go very wrong if I was not careful, I have been lucky and avoided the Flu, again I think I would be in a lot of trouble if I caught it, its only over time that you learn how vulnerable you are when you are ill.
This time of year I would normally be very busy with my exploring around the country and with some of the gorgeous frosty days we have had recently I have looked on rather longingly, its not so much that I wouldn't be capable of getting out and walking etc, I would with a bit of care but its more psychological, to properly enjoy something you have to be at peace with yourself and the world around you, something that I am not at the moment, I have a horrible premonition of the future, I am very restless and have this constant need to be doing something, which is great in one respect as I have finished all the DIY jobs around the house that needed doing, but it feels like all I am doing is trying to put off the inevitable.

Amazing to think it is nearly a year since I was in Hawaii, with a lot of luck and everything crossed I will be there again in a few months.

Friday, 29 December 2017

End of the Year

This is the fabulous cake made for a lovely friend, the dogs are very good likenesses for her three dogs, some people are very talented.

I had a great time down in Hampshire at Christmas, staying with some lovely friends and visiting Cousins and Aunt and Uncle, really great people, they have been so supportive so it is good to be able to catch up. I do have some great people around me, I am very lucky.

January 11th I have an operation booked at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, it is another Angiogram and the fitting of at least one Stent. One of my Arteries has started to close up which is what has caused all the troubles these past few moths, I am hoping that after the 11th I will be in a much better position to get out and get some exercise and rebuild my back garden amongst other things.

I also have to have Radiotherapy for a lump on my cheek, this has gradually got bigger and I have to be very careful about it bleeding as it doesn't stop once it starts. The treatment is meant to be next week, five sessions over consecutive days, the worst part of it is the two hour round trip each day, but it will be rather nice to get rid of the lump as it is starting to look rather hideous now.


There has been some gorgeous foggy days recently, the shots above were taken from the Silver Jubilee Bridge, unfortunately I only had my phone with me, but even so the view was very impressive.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

No Tunnels Today

Yes a bit annoying as this time of year I would be out exploring, best time now all the undergrowth and trees are dying back, although it can get a tad on the muddy side!
I had my appointment with the Cardio specialist last week and as always I went in with one problem and came out with another. It does seem like I have Unstable Angina and I need to have an Angiogram to find out what is causing it, but unfortunately that can compromise the Kidneys and as I found out last week my remaining Kidney has deteriorated significantly over the past few months, even the past week or so. A bit of a shock as I didn't realise the Kidney had quite got to that stage, but I am getting used to shocks.
I have the Angiogram booked for next Thursday so hopefully I will find some answers then in the meantime I have yet more pills to take, these seem to be working ok and so long as I take it very steady the Angina isn't a problem. What is going to happen with the Kidney I really have no idea, I will see my Cancer Consultant in a couple of weeks and maybe he will come up with some miracle cure.
I had such plans for getting myself fit and relatively healthy over the coming months so I would be in a good state to fight my new Cancer treatment next year but that is now on hold, I am getting very frustrated sitting at home I keep thinking to myself I must get out and get some exercise but then I remember that I can't, a steady walk is the limit.

I saw an elderly couple earlier, he was shuffling along pushing a wheelchair while his wife supported him, he was in very poor shape and she said him walking was the equivalent of her running a marathon, I could well believe it. Little incidents like that bring me back down to earth.

The Internet is an amazing resource but it has to be treated with respect, I started to enter something into google and it popped up with 'Dying from Kidney Failure' no I wasn't brave enough to click on it!

All this time to spare has let me catch up on a lot of photo related work on the PC including a lot of old photos of my dads, this is his old garage in Addiscombe.


Friday, 27 October 2017

And another thing


So now I am having Angina attacks, well I think it is Angina a couple of trips to Hospital in a week should confirm it. Just seems to be no end to the things going wrong, 52 years without even breaking a bone and now almost every week something else goes wrong.
Typically my last visit to Clatterbridge and bloods were good, blood pressure was good and ECG was good, two days later and I wake in the night with a horrible pressure from my cheeks down through my chest and both arms, after five minutes it had gone and as I am now so used to pains all the time I didn't think much of it until I was out cycling and it started again within a mile, fortunately it stopped quite soon so taking it a bit easy I finished the ride, out walking with some friends on Monday and all was good until we had to walk back up the hill and I couldn't do it, I really thought I was going to have a Heart Attack, my friend had to go and get his car and come back to pick me up. My Doctors Surgery wanted me to go to A & E but the thought of it put me on the edge of panic, fortunately my GP saw me and has prescribed a spray to ease things until I see a specialist. This has come from nowhere and as I spend half my life walking and cycling it has really hit me hard, even having a shower brings on an attack! Exertion and Anxiety seem to be the main triggers, I know my last scans showing the growth in the Cancer hit me hard but it obviously hit me harder than I realised. 

This I am sure sounds like a real cliche, but I am not scared of dying not now after everything I have been through, a bit sad maybe as there are so many things I want to do. I have been out in Liverpool and Manchester the last couple of days, very scary as I can only walk slowly and crowds are a real problem. It is all the complications  that really scares me, what happens if I am unable to get out and about, what if I am confined to bed, what if I collapse in the street and someone steals my camera!! Haha funny how the mind works but that really has been a worry. What has really got to me with this latest problem, is I had my mind set on getting fit and healthy now I have stopped my treatment, then going off to America in the Spring for a big trip and coming back next Summer to face the Cancer, at least fit healthy and with some great memories, but now I don't know.