Tuesday 21 May 2013

Big Fat Round Up

Ok, I know we've kind of half celebrated this before 
but this week we had emotional and physical closure as Kenzie's ear drum was finally fixed and he was given the big heave ho by Royal Manchester Children's hospital. 
(sorry - I know I've already said this on Instagram - fast forward to GB's birthday if it's dull but I need this for my blog diary!)
It's really bizarre that all those years ago (when he was 2) during a routine operation to remove what they thought was a polyp from his left ear, lots and lots of tumours were found in Kenzie's skull. Many years after he finished treatment 
(he was discharged from Oncology last year) 
the only thing that seemingly refused to be fixed was a hole in that very ear...the one the polyp (that wasn't a polyp) grew out of.

The operation I blogged about (here) last year was a partial success in that it was 90% closed - but there was still a hole. This meant there would be a high chance of recurring infection if he ever got even the tiniest bit of water in it.

 We were advised that there was little chance of it ever being fully fixed - but a chance meeting with the main ENT man changed that.
He completely understood why Kenzie would want his ear fixed - 
and said 
'why, I'll do it myself'.
And he did. And it worked.
(it involved an operation...he didn't just fix it in the corridor!)
Then he discharged us. For good.
And that's that. And I don't think we can say often enough how fortunate we are.
us out celebtrating...on a school night!
Amongst other things that have happened recently - 
our littlest boy had his 9th Birthday.
Birthday breakfast..."any 9!"

Geordie Boy is addicted to MineCraft so it was a 
no brainer for the cake:
pre printed icing sheet from Ebay
 He chose the cinema and sleepover with his mates - 
so was all partied out the next day!
 I saw a great book on Yvestown IG recently which made me smile - especially as I have recently met another local blogger Victoria (yarnaroundhook). It's a funny thing meeting someone you've 'spoken' to for a couple of years - and as expected we found we had plenty in common, not just mutual frustration with the Manchester weather and a love of complicated crochet!

I love how blogging allows you to 'meet' people from all over the world who share something in common (be it crochet, love of food, a sick sense of humour, a cancer journey, crazy genes, love of photography...) but it's even better when you meet them in real life.
(you know we're going to Australia/NZ next summer - 
you ladies better be in!!!)

Anyway, Victoria and I took tea and cake (OK, only I had cake...) at a lovely little teashop called The Teahive in Chorlton. Must do it again soon new real life pal!
Cleggy and I had a cheeky night in Belfast. 
(to be fair Cleggy was working)
We only had 24 hours but man we managed to fit in a whole lot of eating and drinking!!!
We started at Mourne Seafood
I was glad I'd done my research cos it doesn't look much from the outside - but fantastic food and service inside.
seafood chowder....Mmmmmm
We stayed at The Merchant, which is a beautiful building, previously the headquarters of The Ulster Bank.
It was BEAUtiful. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the sleek lines of a sharp modern building as much as the next girl - but I love when the fabrics are sumptuous pink and orange, the mirrors large and gilt, the artwork paintings of real women 
with their knockers out!! 
(my boys would LOVE this hotel)
 Our room was a rich mix of taupe and orange  - not a colour combo I normally like but it worked here
 and with wonderful attention to detail
 It had perfect magazines

and the sort of turn down service that included a weather forecast and a quote of the day!


The public areas were dark and quirky - with original art work galore

We ate in the restaurant - possibly one of the most ornate rooms I've ever been in
 check out these toilets:
 ...but we didn't eat much because we couldn't WAIT to get back to the cocktails!!
The cocktail list was immense - and the cocktail waiters amusing and very slick. I could have watched them all night 
(ooops, I did!).
I bloody love a cocktail, and am not proud to say there's not much on the menu I wouldn't drink! Cleggy on the other hand is very discerning - and managed to find a couple to his liking. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The next day Cleggy went to work, then we went a trip to St George's market - on recommendation of a blogging and IG friend (DMAC76) who lives just outside Belfast (we almost met up - but my lack of organisation meant we missed each other...next year!)
It was fab - loads to browse, live music and a food opportunity (well, it was food from all over the world -rude not to)
THEN, unbelievably, we managed to squeeze in afternoon tea 
back at the hotel! 
And I'm so glad we did - it was special.
We went for the selection of cakes 
rather than traditional cream scone.
and look at this - a choux pastry swan! brilliant.

Back at home it's work work work.
We have been running our own series of ABC Does conferences
(Cleggy's Early Years Education consultancy business)
The first day was in Manchester - at a fab venue called thestudio. It was such a fun building - with great views across the city.
It's been fun meeting lots of the lovely people who follow Cleggy's blog and share his passion for teaching.
In stark contrast....my own work has taken a back set of late. Partly because we've been too busy with the above - and partly because my workshop LOOKS LIKE THIS:
 Yes, I am ashamed. But nowhere nearer having the time to clean it.
But I have managed to make some commissions! Here are some of them:

Run update: I have stuck to the program (couch to 5K) despite 
a) hideous weather
b) a tummy bug 
c) being nipped by a small West Highland Terrior!!! 

What? who gets nipped by such a small cute dog? I felt slightly better when another dog walker told me he was a 'devil dog' (!) who bites all the runners. RUNNERS! ME!! he he.

I haven't lost single pound in weight - but then if you've just read the above you'll know why!!  

THANK YOU for all the encouragement and advice after my last post. I replied to everyone that I could - but you know if you are a 'no reply blogger' it can be impossible to get back in touch? I didn't realise that until recently - and have thought I have sent messages to loads of people who will never have received them (doh)
I think that's covered all areas of life - apart from a couple of photos from the garden. The apple blossom only lasted a week or so (before being battered by rain and wind)  but looked and smelled divine. fee x


  1. Glad the op went well. Your Belfast hotel looks amazing! Great post.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. Wow... I feel like I have had the most wonderful holiday too... Just sitting here in the chair reading your blog. Thank you

  3. Fantastic news about Kenzie's ear!!

    Fantastic hotel!!

  4. Brilliant news about your boy! Lovely Belfast photos!

  5. Best wishes to you and your family...it was grand to read all the good news and fine reports of your travels!

    You are also very kind to include the workshop photos...I assure you that with my apartment's limited space, when I get going with various projects, the interior landscape gets quite built up. Foot paths narrow alarmingly.


  6. What a lovely post Fee, full of everything to celebrate in life. I am so thrilled that your dear son has been discharged, what a journey you have been on. I loooove that hotel, wow! Keep up with the exercise, it was great to hear from you and you are allowed occasional treats, just not every week...LOLOL! Take care, Jxx

  7. First - the best news of all regarding your darling boy xxxx The hotel looks an amazing place. A post filled with joy and fun, don't ever stop doing your blog!!

  8. Lovely, celebratory, joyful post! So pleased for you all about Kenzie, how glad you must feel to see the back of the hospital! Lots of food and drink, brilliant, and you haven't put any weight on, so that's good too!

    I've got a lovely, happy feeling now ... thank you

    Love Claire xx

  9. I feel I am losing my position as your number one stalker as I missed this post. Wait a minute, just checked, you wrote it this morning. How slack of me to only see it now!
    Fab post as always. Great news about Kenzie and a wonderful whirlwind tour of your life in general.
    Erin x

  10. What a fabulous 'good news' post, and ooh, you get to hang out in some swanky places!

    So pleased Kenzie's second ear op was such a success :)

  11. Fee --- Thanks so much for popping over to Chalky's and making 199 followers. I will indeed get the Giveaway started. Whoop, whoop!
    Could you possibly put me on your distraction list please.
    Thank you Linda

  12. I don't know where to start, there's so much information up there! I'll just say that I loved meeting you and that you're right, it is a bit weird meeting someone for the first time in real life when you already feel like you 'know' them a little bit! See you again soon, I hope xxx

  13. I seriously think you should be a travel writer Fee as you find THE best places to stay and things to do, love travelling vicariously through you. Great news re the 'hole' btw!xxx


    WOW....where do I even begin to catch up on all that you have been through with your darling boy! The fact that you still find time however, to create, to live life as one should (HAPPY!) and to blog, is impressive. You have had much to deal with, but thank heavens, your son looks GREAT and was treated by just the right doctor, at just the right time! YES!!!!!!!!!!

    What FANTASTIC PLACES you have shared with us today! You and Cleggy really know how to celebrate, and why not? Your children are well and growing (I can't believe your youngest is this age now?) - so why not party! I noticed a "dish" that is wrapped in foil, with a fork in it...I am wondering what that is? And to see the glamor to the charm of all these fun establishments you have been to is a treat for a YANK like me! I hope to visit England in the near future and if I can't, then my next Simply Irresistible party must include GB, for sure.

    Thank you dear Fee for coming to visit. It is always a great pleasure to connect with you again! Anita

  15. What fab news about your sons ear! I bet you feel so relieved. Loved reading about what you have been up to in your last few posts.... it feels like I haven't been over in blog land for ages. Love the idea of sharing real life photos, I did a 'keeping it real' thing on facebook a few months back it made me and the other participants feel better knowing that it is not just our house that looks a tip :-) x

  16. Awe you were in Belfast, why didn't you say you were coming over?? I've had afternoon tea in the Merchant and it's definitely good! :) Not sure that leaving a weather forecast for N Ireland is a good idea though!!!
    Absolutely brilliant news about Kenzie, I 'm so happy for you all! :)
    V xxx


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fee x