Reasons to be thankful?

Never mind the list of 100 things, what would feature on your list of "things to be thankful for" today?

I'll post mine later.

The alternative to a wig on bad (no hair) days?

I was stared at this week. Really stared at. "It's because I've no hair isn't it?" She nodded. "Do you think it's a bit funny looking?" She shook her head. "You know it will grow again soon don't you?" Another shake. She's five years old and has great fluffy blond "springs" - curls to you and me. She also hasn't seen me since I started the billiard ball with stubble look and clearly, she was troubled by it. She's in good company. "You're not seriously going to do without a wig are you?" My mother. And she's not alone either: "Have they given you a wig yet?" (I am literate enough to read between the lines of another relation's words.)
So I got the wig - I didn't have much choice.
Cheery-Cheery, the ever happy head of wigs at the McDermott (cancer) Unit insisted and I hadn't the energy that day to argue. I'm not sure what to do with it though. It's hot, hairy (no surprise there) and looks ridiculous. A fellow-sufferer confided that hers blew off in the local High St recently and while she laughed, a passer by nearly had a heart attack. So in the interests of public health, I won't be wearing it but I can't think of a use for it. Dressing up box for little'uns or boot sale or fire it off to ebay's folicle club if such a thing exists? What does a gal do with an unappreciated wig and polystyrene head, wig oil and shampoo or whatever gloop I bought with it? Any suggestions?
Here's the thing: when it's cold I wear a bandana thingy. When it's warm, I go topless (so to speak). Frankly, I don't care and it really hasn't bothered me for even 10 seconds. It's quick, easy to dry (!) and I don't have to look at it. Way I see it, I'm sick, I have a vile toxic cocktail of chemotherapy every three weeks, my hair fell out quickly, it'll probably grow again, but for now, this is me, get used to it!
(Suggestions welcome as to suitable use of said clump of fake hair!)

100 things...

  1. Maps make sense to me.
  2. Open fires make me all dreamy.
  3. I cheat at board games and cards.
  4. I teach the kids in the family how to cheat too.
  5. When the giggles really hit, I’m a gonner.
  6. I once forgot my own name on air at the end of a radio programme.
  7. Salty over sweet anytime.
  8. I broke curfew riding a borrowed bicycle through Kathmandu during the revolution in April 1990.
  9. I can raise my left eyebrow, but not my right.
  10. I was named after my maternal grandmother and my father.
  11. Hardly ever watch tv but work for a global brand that makes programmes.
  12. I’m as bald as a baby at the moment because of chemo.
  13. Rome is my favourite European city.
  14. I’ve been on an elephant safari in Nepal and on African safari three times.
  15. I trained as a music teacher but almost never listen to music.
  16. My mum makes the best scones.
  17. I started a kid’s orchestra in church – the Banned – they weren’t advanced enough for their school orchestras, but we were great.
  18. My eighteen month old nephew (aka "lil' guy) is the light of my life.
  19. Love snow – when I’m indoors.
  20. I’ve known most of my friends for decades.
  21. I’ve sailed in the Med and the Carribean, but never in Irish or British waters.
  22. Love speech based radio.
  23. Celebrated the millennium in a wheelchair – plate and pins in ankle/leg after triple fracture.
  24. I can’t make custard.
  25. Ireland is number 1, France a close contender.
  26. I have never watched an episode of The Simpsons.
  27. Dad and I have the same sense of humour.
  28. I once fell down a man hole and drove the 90 minute journey home thinking I’d broken my foot -turned out my shoulder was broken instead.
  29. I still choke up if anyone “hurts” my teddy.
  30. Love rugby, detest football, wonder if they’re meant to stand around so much in cricket and what is golf on TV about? Surely if you want to see the sky that much, you just go outdoors or find a window?
  31. I can hear the waves break on the beach when I’m lying in bed.
  32. Most days, the front door to our home seems to have a revolving door. It’s great.
  33. I only write a diary when I’m travelling.
  34. I’d like to foster kids.
  35. It took two visits to the Taj Mahal before I ever really saw it - a swarm of buzzing things got me first time round.
  36. To stay sane, I need to spend at least 20 mins a day doing something creative.
  37. Having a room full of people who want to sing and make music is one of the best things.
  38. I gave up a great job to work in the Seychelles for six months… then came home a couple of weeks early.
  39. I once had a job where the first assignment was to film Princess Diana for an afternoon. The second was to film in Brazil, the third took me to Spain and the fourth to Nepal. It got better after that boring start.
  40. I’m an idealist.
  41. I once carried a two year old to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
  42. I don’t do supermarkets.
  43. Pizza with triple anchovies for me please.
  44. I have a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.
  45. I declined an invite to Buckingham Palace to collect number 44.
  46. I’d like to lose about half my body weight.
  47. I’ve never seen “Bambi”, “Jungle Book” or “101 Dalmations”.
  48. Most people come away from difficult situations wishing they’d said this or that. I generally come away wishing I hadn’t said it.
  49. Love a quiet garden on a mild night – fire lit in the chiminea, little lamps dotted all round the place and mug of tea in hand. Mmmm.
  50. I love to worship with local believers when I visit other countries – my favourite service was in a Baptist church in Soweto – amazing singing.
  51. I try to buy fairtrade, organic and free range when I can.
  52. When several members of my family got a bit emotional just before a cousin’s wedding, I played very inappropriate music on the piano – disguised just enough that the other guests thought it was beautiful. Our side of the church got the giggles.
  53. I’m a member of two book clubs but hardly ever get the books read.
  54. I bought pirate CDs just once - from a roadside hawker in Kosovo.
  55. I’d love someone to teach me how to fish.
  56. I love The Archers on BBC radio 4.
  57. I often fall asleep during sermons – really should take notes.
  58. Handwritten letters make me smile.
  59. Singing harmony tingles my spine.
  60. I sponsor a child with Compassion – a little girl in the Philippines.
  61. I pay to get my ironing done. Life’s too short.
  62. Our car was attacked in Soweto and a friend's driving skills and quick thinking got us to safety, but with lots of glass to clean up.
  63. Flat-pack furniture assembly is satisfying.
  64. For two terms, I was a house mother in a girls’ boarding school in London.
  65. Faffing politely around celebrities and politicians drives me over the edge. No one is more important than anyone else.
  66. I’ve been a bridesmaid twice – in the same year. Loved both days, but still haven’t got over having a bow on my bum.
  67. Friends gave me a cello for a birthday present.
  68. All the patience in the world for children. Hardly any for adults.
  69. The Bramley apple tree in my little garden produces huge apples for pies and crumbles.
  70. Biggest disappointment of my journalistic career? Interviewing the Dali Lama.
  71. Most impressive interviewee? Jean Vanier.
  72. Making jam and chutney gives me a happy glow.
  73. I’ve had one flying lesson so far…
  74. I own a tourist rental near a world heritage site.
  75. The Borrowers share my house –things never turn up where I left them.
  76. I’ve written speeches for politicians of almost every persuasion in Northern Ireland.
  77. Ideas and starting the ball rolling beats ticking the boxes and signing it off.
  78. Horses, cats and dogs make me sneeze.
  79. My favourite film is “Life is Beautiful”.
  80. I love decorating wedding cakes.
  81. Helicopters baffle me – how do they fly without wings?
  82. Advertising drives me bonkers.
  83. I drive everyone bonkers when I sing along with musicals – in the theatre.
  84. I play piano and used to be a church organist.
  85. I also used to be a primary school teacher.
  86. Part of my heart is in Uganda.
  87. Cleaning the bathroom any day over dusting.
  88. I’d do without food to pay someone to do my ironing.
  89. Smells I love: Jeyes Fluid, just cut grass, lavender and clean babies.
  90. Live acoustic music works for me – especially Irish.
  91. My careers advisor suggest cartography, 27 years later, I realise she might have been right.
  92. Showers win. Why would you want to lie in dirty bath water?
  93. I’ve worked in 18 different countries.
  94. Most of my life was spent avoiding medication – now they shovel chemicals into me.
  95. I’d like to live “The Good Life” and love what they’re doing in Martin.
  96. Everything stops when the blackbird near my study sings.
  97. I’ve been lifted up a wall by Buddhist monks (to a rooftop - for safety!)
  98. Food fads? Despise turnip, love fish.
  99. I have breast cancer.
  100. I spend too much of my life in front of a computer.

Mood Hoovers....

...a lovely phrase I was introduced to this week. Mood Hoovers are people who suck the energy from stuff - peole who move into a room and the atmosphere just changes. You know the kind of thing? Anyway, I only know one and I've learnt to manage those encounters as best I can, but like being sick, having a "name" for the "problem" makes me feel better. Now anyone I know reading this is wondering if it's them! In a perverse way, that pleases me because now we'll all make an extra effort to bring a bit of sunshine with us everywhere we go! Yeay! No more Eyores!

Workaholic-the-former's list of 100 things amused me and I thought I'd have a go. It's proving to be very cathartic. I've made it to about 70 things... will post the whole hooley when it's done. It's amazing how many things a girl can find to pass the time these days. So far today I've added to the list, visited a friend's B&B to see how she does things and made a few muffins. The list of things I meant to do today is low on ticks.

Should I have explained that the "bored room" in the title is my study? Since leaving work (temporarily?) it's become a place to hang out when nothing of great importance needs attention. Bored is not a state of mind I've ever really known.

In the beginning...

Seems like a good place to start, though what to begin with? I'm half way into the current chapter of "me" so maybe a "story so far" note?

I've been out of work since December 13th 07 following a diagnosis of something not too pleasant. My reaction, I've discovered, was not typical. Being told I had breast cancer scored about 4 on the personal richter scale. Knowing I wouldn't need to go into work for a while hit a 6. Every cloud has a silver lining huh? It's not that I don't like my job. I actually quite enjoy it, but it had worn me threadbare and I was in corkscrew mode, drilling down deep to find the resources to keep going.

That was December. Now it's mid April and the surgery is a distant memory. I'm in the third week of my third of six cycles. Odd word that. Cycle. It conjures up images of fresh air and health. No clues beforehand about the feeling of someone pumping almost a litre of wall-paper paste into your veins. Three cycles and one week to go to the end of the chemo. (4062 hours to be accurate - how sad is that! Then there's the radiotherapy, which isn't on the radar yet as it takes me too far away on the calendar.)

Until this current chapter, I'd been pretty healthy, pretty happy and pretty much wasting time. Being home-based makes me so much happier. That's one to unpack another time.