Wishing You All A Very Happy Christmas And A Wonderful New Year!

It’s here again, I thought it was suppose to take a year to get here, I’m sure we must of missed out a few months somewhere, surely that’s not another year gone. I remember as a child it took so long to get to christmas and now they fly by, one after the other. Ok I know I’m getting old. When I was young (along time ago), about 8-9 years old, I remember the excitment of christmas day, getting up at 2.00 then told to go back to bed, then up at 4.00 then being told to go back to bed again, by a very frustrated mum, then up at 6.00 or 7.00 and open your stocking, a bit of breakfast then excitedly wait till dinner was ready, wolf that down and have to wait until alllllll the washing up was done by the older ones and mum and dad, the excitment almost killing us, that’s how it felt at the time, then the big moment arrived, but who was going to go first, your sitting on your hands trying not to grab anyone elses present, then you get your first present, rip the wrapping off, “Who was that from?” “Oh ere mum and dad, thank you mum and dad.” I was reminded of this excitment when I got a text from my Mum saying thank you for her presents, err excuse me! Isn’t it Christmas Day tomorrow, all that waiting we had to do as a child, at the hands of our parents, and now they open presents whenever they want. But I think I can let my Mum off the hook, the amount of happy memories it brings is worth it, hopefully we can give our grandchildren happy memories to remember for when they’re older. They are great memories to have, and I know I’m lucky to have them, thanks Mum and Dad.

I know I still act like a child alot of the time, and mucking about with your grandchildren is great fun, so while I can still play about with them I will, heres some pictures from a few years ago of me getting excited about christmas. I hope I never grow up and become serious, that would be terrible. I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year, and it brings everything you hope for, especially for health and happiness for you, your family and friends. Take care and thank you for reading my blog, maybe get one more blog in before the new year, best wishes and Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, always 100% positive.

We Went To A Ball!

We’ve never been to a ball before, getting all dressed up and looking like a penguin, never appealed to me, and my wife Sonia wearing a dress that she sweeps the floor with as she goes about the evening, no thanks, you can keep all that posh malarkey. Track suit bottoms and slouching on the sofa, now that’s more like it. But this was different, this was the ‘Clowns in the Sky’ Winter Ball. Clowns in the Sky is a charity I have been fund raising for them for a few years now. I worked with the owner of the charity, Richard, and was heart broken to hear of the death of his daughter, but Richard and his wife, Lyn, set up this charity in her memory, and it’s gone from strength to strength, and now supports children in hospitals having treatment for brain tumours across the country. They make a donation to Brain Tumour Research, in the hope of finding a cure or better treatments, there’s so many things they do to help children get through their treatment, have a look here to find out more.

Each year they organise a Winter Ball, a lovely evening of a meal, magicians coming to your table, a singer, an auction, raffle, and finishing with few hours of dancing, and as much donating as you can. I was aware of this Ball a couple of years ago but didn’t take a lot of notice of it, then last year I saw it on Facebook, but left it too late and it was sold out, so this year I made a definite effort to get some tickets for me and my family, it was just a question of who was going to dress up and come with us now. There’s eight adults and six children in our family, so baby sitters would be required, as it’s not really a place for kids. So I messaged Donna and asked for at least four tickets and possibly eight. The tickets become available around September October time, but do sell out by November, so I’d got in this year, but just had to confirm the numbers. We ordered four tickets, but soon ordered four more, as we knew we had several people who would like to go if family members couldn’t. Now it was time to order the food, it was only a choice of meat or vegetarian, so we chose half and half, covering all bases, anyone last minute would be able to have what they wanted as some of us were quite flexible. Tickets booked, food ordered, now it was who was going to go. One couldn’t get a babysitter, another recently split with his partner and was a maybe, so it was Sonia and me, our favourite daughter Lib and her husband Chris, possibly our son Davey, now for three more. My Mum has always liked the dressing up and going out, so we invited her and got a very swift reply of “Yes please,” now for the last two, and the Ball is getting quite close now, just a few weeks away. So I asked my brother and his wife Jan, and they were up for it, so it was the eight of us. Now for the penguin outfits and sweep as you go dresses.

Feeling very smart and with a self tied bow tie.

Eventually got all sorted out and it ended up with seven of us meeting up at the Ball, and even if I do say so myself, I think we looked very smart. My suit cost ten pounds, from a charity shop, got it dry cleaned for twelve pounds and got a shirt and bow tie for fifty pounds. I felt very pleased with myself getting a suit so cheap, and it was a nice one. But as time got on we had to just go and get a decent shirt from a proper shop. It all started very economically, but that soon went out of the window. As we settled at are table, we had one at the back, but were quite close to Tony Cottee and Tony Gale. Who are they? I hear you ask, they’re only part of the West Ham team that finished 3rd in the league, in the 85-86 season, the year I started supporting West Ham, they’ve never been the same since, sorry. We all had a great time, the food was lovely, we had a magician at our table astounding us with his tricks, no idea how he did them. There was an auction and my brother Gwyn got a drawing of four past England cricket captains, signed, and he won a game of golf with Tony Cottee and Tony Gale, I will be his caddie that day, I’ve no idea what I’m suppose to do but really looking forward to it. There was a raffle, a singer and then at the end of the night, dancing. All in all it was a great night and very pleased to say Clowns in the Sky raised roughly five and a half thousand pounds, that’s brilliant for just a small charity, they can now do so much with that and help children with brain tumours, brilliant.

As I said in an earlier post, we’re looking after our three year old grand son, having had four children we thought it would be easy, as we know what we’re doing, but boy is he tiring, we put him down for bed and if we don’t fall asleep on the sofa, we’re not far off going to bed ourselves. But it is nice having him here, he was at nursery five days a week for six hours but now hes off for over two weeks, if we survive, we’ll see you in the new year. Hopefully I’ll get some posts done, if he falls asleep for a few hours in the afternoon. We did have some good news this week, my wife Sonia had been for a ultra sound scan and they found a mass on her liver, but after a CT scan this week, we got the news that it was benign so nothing to worry about, and we have an appointment with a liver specialist at the next available time, May next year, good job it’s not urgent. Take care, have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year, I’ll repeat that if I get to blog again this year, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer, and always 100% positive.

The End of Lung cancer awareness Month

As we come into December which brings to a close Lung cancer Awareness Month here in the UK, I was very proud to of been a part of the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation campaign #Follow My Lead, going up to Liverpool in August and meeting some lovely people, and telling my story of having lung cancer, I hope some people have come to realise it’s not the end of the world just because your diagnosed with lung cancer, it doesn’t mean it will be easy, or that your going to live forever, but it shows you can have a life even though you have lung cancer. No one knows how long they have, and having a terminal diagnosis heightens your awareness of the people you hear about in the news every day, that go out and never come home, dying in an accident on the roads, or being attacked, like those poor people who died or got injured near London Bridge on Friday, or the earthquake in Albania, our nephew Timmy is in Albania, but thankfully he is ok and safe, my heart goes out to all those who lost their lives in these incidents or any others you hear about. You never know what will happen tomorrow, so don’t let the thought that you might die one day from cancer, stop you enjoying today.

It’s been a bit quiet on the blogging front for me lately, I was hoping to start getting more blogs done each week, but it’s amazing how a quite well behaved three year old grandson can stop you doing so many things and make you so tired, I don’t remember it being like this when our four children were that age, but we were a lot younger too. My sons lovely partner made her family homeless, so he split up with her and took their eldest with him and we’re helping out with their youngest, until he can get a place of his own, so it could be for a few months we’re helping out, just hope our energy doesn’t give up before then. It’s a pleasure having him here, and we run the two of them to school each day, so we’re very busy and it is nice getting involved with our grandchildren, and it takes your mind off the normal day to day boring things, you don’t have a lot of time to think about anything. I’d say it makes you feel young again having a toddler about almost every day, but it doesn’t, I think it makes you realise how old you actually are, but as I said it’s a lot of pleasure too, I’ll let you know how we get on with him and the housing situation.

This is the link to my story if you haven’t seen it already:- https://www.roycastle.org/david-james/, and if you go on the Roy Castle website:- www.roycastle.org you can see all the other stories of people with lung cancer and how they have coped and lived with it, all of them are worth watching or reading, very inspiring. There’s also the comedian John Ryan who wrote a poem and made a video for the campaign, also he went on Sky News and was interviewed and put one of the presenters in her place as she ignorantly said you catch lung cancer from smoking, that’s worth watching too, heres the link for that:- https://www.roycastle.org/i-need-to-correct-you-there/.

Well I’ll keep it short and sweet today, and hopefully I’ll have time to blog again soon, anytime I sit at the table to use the computer, I get a smiley face next to me pulling the chair out, wanting to play too. I open a page for him and he taps away, and he gets the computer to do things I never knew it could, I try to watch what he pressed but he’s too quick, one thing was the curser stayed on the right of the page and as he typed the letters came out on the right and moved left as he typed more, search boxes came up, all these things I’d never seen before, and as much as I try I can’t get them to come up again. I have my unfinished book on here, I just hope he doesn’t reboot the computer to restore factory settings, and all is lost. I’ve emailed my book to myself, just in case. Take care and thank you for taking the time to read my blog and see you again soon, I hope, if our grandson allows, as soon as he’s in bed, we’re not far behind. Don’t be afraid of lung cancer and 100% positive always.