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Just Daydreaming



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The other day I came across another website that had mentioned Tom on it. http://scagainstlungcancer.blogspot.com/20...attle-with.html It is the South Carolina fight against lung cancer news letter. They had been using Tom as an inspiration to their patients and apparently doctors and nurses had advised their patients read Toms blog. I told a few friends about it and one asked if I felt sad reading it. I'd have to say I felt so proud and happy that he had reached people far and wide, probably giving them a lift in their fight with the deadly disease. I know a lot of cancer sites linked to the blog, but it was nice to read another persons comments on Tom when they had only followed his journey. There hasn't been much medical progress made with Toms particular type of cancer (SCLC) over the last 20 years and it still continues to take many lives. There is hope that a blood test will soon be able to identify patients with it earlier. When it is caught very early and an operation is possible, that is the best possible chance of beating it. When Tom first died I told the Hospice Nurse I would be gutted if a cure was found now and then I corrected myself. No, I wouldn't want other people to suffer. I would want a cure or a way of identifying the illness quicker. It is widely presumed that not as much research goes into Small Cell Lung Cancer due to the stigma surrounding it and smokers. There are people trying to change this around the world as there is now a percentage of non smokers affected. Let us hope that this happens soon. Clatterbridge and Liverpool University are at the leading edge and hopefully they and others around the world will come up with something soon.

On Sunday I dropped my niece and her boyfriend at Tynwald Mills and I decided to take the dogs for a walk in one of my old walking patches in St.Johns, Slieau Whallian (not sure about the spelling). It is a very steep hill in St.Johns for the off Island readers, but also a very thick forest. I used to run up Slieau Whallian on a regular basis with my dogs and used it as a means of regaining my fitness after I had most of my thyroid removed. The most beautiful way is to walk and appreciate everything you can see both in the forest and the view from it. I spent 10 years living at the bottom of it in a little cottage down a lane on the Patrick Road. It was and still is a magnificent sight. Anyway, more of that later and back to my walk. I used to start my walk from the Patrick Road and through a gate that I think the foresters use. on Sunday I gave myself a lift and started my walk from halfway up the hill by driving up the road at the side, the name of which escapes me, and parking in a lay-by opposite the stile into the forest. I walked along the path that runs above the fields and stood for quite some time recalling memories, listening to the cockerels calling to each other around the village and looking at the changes that had taken place. I could see my bedroom window in the cottage I had and then shared with Tom for the first 18 months of us being together. I won't tell you my memories there, but continue to the bottom of the garden where we used to sit on the riverbank that was owned by the cottage. So peaceful and absolutely gorgeous with Slieau Whallian as the backdrop. The river is the Neb and full of trout and salmon. We never fished it, but I certainly had the fish trained and they would jump for their bread each day and turn the river into what looked a boiling cauldron. Tom used to sit on the riverbank whilst I was at work and throw sticks in the river for the dogs to chase. He would have pop and cider tied with string to the bottle neck and to tent pegs on the river bank and he would have them floating in the river to keep them cool. He would torment me by phoning me whilst I was at work and tell me what a lovely day he was having. I would here the dogs splashing in the water and the glug, glug, glug of the bottle he had retreived from the river as he filled a glass, sipped and then give an appreciative, "haahh, thats nice." I loved him too much to feel peeved, though I did wish I was with him obviously. He didn't do much for my concentration at work. I saw the garage that used to house my old bangers and remembered the time I spent sleeping with my sister in the back of an old Austen Estate when both she and her boyfriend Carl (her husband now for 25 years), came over to stay at the same time as my brother John came over to stay on his honeymoon. It was all crazy as I had a one bedroomed cottage, but we would manage anyway we could in those days. We had an airbed in the back of the estate and it was a nightmare trying to sleep. Janet tossed and turned and the noise each time was like listening to velcro being ripped apart. "Will you keep still" I yelled at her. "If you stop snorning I will" came my young sisters retort.

I walked along the ridge and remembered the devastation that took place with rain and wind which wiped out one of the paths that allowed me to walk up the hill very gradually. Rain that devastated most of the Island and caused so many properties to flood everywhere, including my own.

My eyes wandered to the houses that had appeared or expanded since I first bought the house and that small area now has quite a lot of large houses. It will still be peaceful for my friends who still live there. I looked at the field beneath the forest and remembered the horses that grazed there and the first time my dog Bess saw a horse. I have a picture of her sitting and gazing intently, with her collie ears pricked up as she watched them. Having no wish to try and ascend the hill like a mountaineer, I walked back across the ridge to where the rhodedendrums flower in the summer and peered into the pine needles at the bottom of the trees. Hedgehogs are common everywhere, but I remembered a time when I came across a hedgehog family all playing. The young ones were play fighting and tumbing down the slope beneath the trees, watched by their parents. I stood just feet away watching for quite some time and they were oblivious to me. Many a time there are occassions when we wish we had our cameras with us to capture a scene, but on each occassion like that, the memory is still there and I can replay the joy or beauty at any time. It is only sad because we can't show our friends and family and describing doesn't seem to tell the whole tale or explain the sheer beauty. I hope this isn't too boring for the reader!

I then went to ascend the next part of the hill. I have to expain that I wasn't in my normal jeans and trainers as we had been to the Marine in Peel for dinner with Toms family. I had given my legs an airing and was in gold. but thank goodness, flat sandles. Its certainly a good hike if you are wanting to improve your fitness and keep you heart and lungs in good fettle. My heart was thumping like anything and missing the occassional beat. Nothing to worry about, just more of the same required to get in condition. I was almost at the next flat walking section when my mobile rang which was Beth telling me they were ready to go home. :D I intend putting the right footwear on and doing the walk properly at sometime. It is possible to walk through to Barnell which is another lovely place. I believe it can be difficult in places, but I am up for it.

Anyway, I have daydreamed long enough. Orry is shouting and I haven't uncovered him and I have a host of things to do. Lee and Beth have fed the hens and ducks and are now walking Skipper. Suzie will only go with me, so she will be walked later.

Have a nice day everyone.

Love from Barbara on the banks of the wonderful Silverburn. I can never write that without thinking of Tom. How I miss him!

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What a lovely daydream to share with us Barbara. I could picture it in my mind, remember when we went by your old cottage and up that road, you telling me all about how happy you and Tom were there and how you'd walk up that way. It really took me there again. Pictures don't always show things the way we remember but your story was brilliant. I'm sure Tom was walking right along with you as well. XXX Love, Cher

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