Sunday, December 4, 2005

What a night!

Hello darlings!

You must have seen all the hype and felt the excitement of Jooly's Joint 10th birthday party! Well! Me and Arf went as well! Oh! Yes we did! It was a scorcher of a day as we drove to Birmingham from Norfolk and I arrived looking like a boiled beetroot! However, the Hilton Metropole Hotel, where it was all happening, was air-conditioned.

Our bedroom had a lovely bouncy double bed and a perfect shower room for anyone with a disability! I ordered a sandwich as we hadn't stopped to eat lunch and received a meal on a plate with all the trimmings! I thought I might move in and live there!

After changing into our party gear, we trundled downstairs via a lift and bumped into Jooly so hugs and kisses all round! There were a few people already in our party room but I didn't recognise anyone at first. However, soon we saw old friends appear and there screams of delight and hugs that made us all wobble about! We found a table and for us and our welcoming drinks. Suddenly, the whole room lit up with laughter, chatter and music!

There were huge screens on the walls where different pictures of JJ folk appeared with a blurb about them - me included! Modesty was never my best asset!

Food was available on tap - veg dish for those who wanted it! Our host, Iain Lee, was brilliant and brought us all together as one big happy family. He even making our brains work with a pub quiz!

The band, Revolution 9 played all the songs we know and love, and... wait for it... me and Arf had a dance! Well, it was more like 'hold on bloody tight, Arf, my feet have a mind of their own'! But we loved it!

Jooly gave an emotional speech which in turn brought out our tissues! She was cheered and cheered and rightly so! Oh! AND! She danced like a fairy to the Robbie Williams song, 'She's the One' - how she stayed upright is her secret!

A few friends I email but have never met found me and Arf and I was overwhelmed. I must mention Russ and Sue - I've longed to meet them and when I finally did I babbled and waffled as usual! Everyone was smiling as I looked round the room. Cameras were flashing and it was almost too much for me. I kept my eyes wide open so my mascara didn't run down my face! We went to bed before the cake was cut. (Bear in mind that I'd had the ambulance out the weekend before 'cos I'd fallen and my head had had an argument with the edge of a coffee table! Arf found me lying in a pool of blood but all ended well except for a very sore head!) I heard that Jooly did her own 'cabaret' so we missed out on that bit of fun! [Jooly adds: 'It wasn't just me!! I was forced to do it!! I never want to hear that 'Mustang Sally' song again, as long as I live!]

Next morning, we had a breakfast fit for a king. Everything you can think of and more! We helped ourselves. Arf had the full works on his plate, hot and cold! Then it was time for goodbyes! These took longer than expected 'cos we kept finding more friends to hug and say goodbye to. Arf was so excited by this time that we took forever to get out of the NEC complex. He was chattering, I was babbling! Eventually we found the right road and sadly made our way home. Oh! What a night!

Monday, May 30, 2005


Hi! Everyone! How are you all?

Whilst some of us are looking forward to sunshine and warmth, others are getting ready to seek out their woollies! Strange, eh? I've been a busy girl! Oh! Yes I have! MS can take away all your self-esteem if you let it and that's exactly what happened to me. I felt useless and as my legs began a life of their own, never communicating with me, often going their own way, I had to think of something to keep me sane!

So! I have had this idea in my mind for a while and now the time seemed right to put it into action! I applied to be an MS Helpline Volunteer! You know, on the end of a telephone. I passed the initial stage on the phone and thus began three months of sheer hard work, even though I only had to join in the network on my phone once a week! Three hours at a time, though - with a break of half an hour! The public wasn't going to be subjected to my help just yet! I was assessed at intervals as the group (there were five or six of us ) worked our way down the line. I learnt that this was a serious business! I had folders coming out of my ears and although I knew some of the subject - having MS myself! - I soon realised that just knowing something and giving out information to people wasn't enough.

There is a code of practice whereby you follow a path to enable the caller to make options for themselves - you must never be directional. And! Oh! My Gawd! You have to be minimal! Yes - I'm talking about me and you all know I can write for England! My friends know I can prattle on for most of the day and night and as for Arf! Well - he didn't quite manage to stifle a snigger! I'm proud of what I've achieved so far as my brain doesn't always function as it should. I've made my own folders of subject matter to make it easier for me.

Whether I actually ever complete and pass the course is another matter - but I'm glad I'm continuing with it because it's given me self-worth and a discipline I badly needed.

The helpline staff have been brilliant. There are so may people out there affected by MS - families and friends as well as those actually having the condition. When someone says 'thanks ever so much for your help', the MS Society has made that person's day just a little better. Why don't you think about becoming a Volunteer?

See ya! Sandie.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Big pants

Hi everyone! How are you all?

The weather here in the UK has been giving us all a bit of a worry - snow and icy roads! Not used to it - that's our trouble!

Thought I'd give you all a bit of a giggle at my expense! It was a few weeks ago now and the sales were still on in the department stores so we went to our favourite one looking for frilly knickers and anything else that took our fancy!

We had our usual mocha coffees which always make us feel good and set off fully satiated! As it was nearing the end of sale-time, I was limited in my choice! I'm not huge but have expanded due to not being agile. And of course, I am getting older! The trouble was, all the larger (Oh! I hate that word!) sizes were on the bottom rail.

And as many of you know, MS doesn't allow bending, looking and staying on your feet all at the same time! I asked for a chair and got to work! There were some gorgeous bits of nothing. I couldn't say no to any of them! One pair caught my eye at the same time as Arf! They were black, silky, see-through and curvy and the top was bound in satin! Now! How many of you could resist those?! Be honest! I beamed with delight and thrust all my goodies onto Arf as I couldn't manage to walk to the till - I was very, very tired!

I wasn't sure about the fit of these black beauties because there was no elastic so I asked Arf to discreetly point to me when paying for them! Now, it wasn't his fault - lots of things are... but this was definitely NOT! The sales assistant, a young girl, held up these black wonders by the satin trim so I could see the width of the top of them! She said, in a loud voice (I was some way away from the till itself), "Do you think these will be big enough?"! I looked over and saw a 'Bridget Jones' pair of panties! HUGE! There was some sniggering from the svelte ladies in the queue and a very red-faced Arf who dreaded coming back to me (I could see by the look on his face!)! I nodded and wished the floor would swallow me up! It didn't! And! They fit! Oh! Well! Worse things at sea, eh?!

See ya - keep warm! Sandie.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Hello Everyone! I wish you all a healthy and happy 2005!

I was going to write some trivia about what happened when we went shopping but the horrific disaster that happened on Boxing Day keeps coming to mind. Would you read this short diary and spare some thoughts for all those who lost their families in the Tsunami?

I realise that each of you has been doing this since it happened, but we are so fortunate, aren't we? The TV News shows such grief - one image won't leave me alone! A man was crying and scrambling in the rubble that used to be his home; he had lost his wife and four children and kept saying he didn't know what to do. The overwhelming loss of life and the grief of those who are left are beyond words.

Can I ask you to give your loved ones an extra hug today and tell them how much you love them?

Thank you all. Sandie.