Birthday girl

21 Apr

Sylv is 15 today. I don’t know how or when that happened, but there you go, she’s 15. We had a gathering of some of the family on Friday to celebrate. We appear to live amongst a family of spies.
I don’t know when that happened either, because last time I knew, they were retired, or students or working with young people who offend. I suppose that’s in the nature of spies. You don’t know that’s what they do.

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet on the blog since hitting 500,000 hits. That’s not very grateful of me, is it? Well, truth be told, I was very very tired, so I’ve had a break and got away from everything, and I feel a whole lot better for it.

Sooo, blogging starts again in earnest from tomorrow. TKOE is kicking off a fundraising art ‘thing’. That’s its working title. And we’ve got another fundraising ‘thing’ to announce very shortly too. Which is a nice link into a very lovely thank you to Oops a Daisy florists in Ledbury. You can follow them on Facebook, here
They are brilliant and they gave a lovely donation to TKOE just before Easter. Yay!! :) So use them when you need flowers. OK?

Off now to prepare for the birthday girl’s birthday tea. It’s thundering and lightening and all sorts at the moment. Auspicious.

Jo xx

Sooooooo close to half a million

8 Apr

at some point whilst we’re sleeping, this blog will hit the 500,000 hits stage.


A celebration to follow tomorrow.

Jo xx

What would you save?

2 Apr

If your house looked like it might burn down, what would you save before you ran outside?
Amy, Rosie’s very close friend, had that problem last week. . . . hold on a minute, pause there. If your house looks like it might burn down, that’s bigger than ‘a problem’ right? And ‘a dilemma’ would take too long to think through. She had that… that…that split second decision to make. And amongst a small number of very important things, she grabbed a card Rosie had written her. And really really thoughtfully told us about it.

It’s ok. The house didn’t burn down. And she’s ok. But it got us thinking. People, cats, dog for sure would be top of the list. But there’s some pictures, a bear and a couple of handwritten things I’d be devastated to lose. And I’ve never really thought before about what I’d want to save.

Last week was full of thoughtfulness. Including Cal sending me a lovely card, some flowers and some chocolates; and Sylv finding a couple of pictures of her, Rosie and me which she framed as a present from both my daughters.

Thoughtfulness is good, isn’t it. :) :)

Jo xx

Death cafés and death doulas

23 Mar


would you go to a cafe to talk about death? About things like where you want to die, what you want to happen to your body, words on your gravestone if you are having one and all that. I would, and I wish there had been one around when Rosie was alive. Because it would have made it all seem a lot more normal. Momentous and unwelcome, still, but more normal. It would have saved that faff with the coffin. Remember that??

and there are people called death doulas. People who accompany people who are dying to help them have a good death. A bit like the birth ones but the opposite. Except it’s not so opposite because birth and death are very closely connected. I think that’s a good idea too. Because you don’t actually know what you are doing when someone is dying. and reading up on it doesn’t work. 

I came across these two things yesterday – at least, I had heard about death cafés before but not the doulas. We’ve been walking the TKOE dog around Iron Age hill fort country this morning in sight of Rosie’s graveyard. So it’s all felt very connected – spring and the cycle of life. Comforting really. 

Thank you to Alessandra and Laura for your TKOE donations this week. Really nice to get that unexpectedly.

i gave blood too – it was GUSHING this time and I’m definitely not anaemic anymore. So the bloodometer is at 5 so far. Has anyone else donated this year? We need to keep count so we can be proud of what TKOE and Team Kilburn has done :)

I’ve also joined the stem cell register. You feel all medical when you get the testing kit and the emails are very exciting. So even if you don’t match anyone in the whole world, you get a warm Glow. Imagine if you did match? It’s really easy to join as well. Should we have a TKOE stemcellometer as well?

Jo xx


16 Mar

Why are you all so quiet? I know you are out there, but you’ve gone mighty quiet on the comments front. Have you been having fun in the sun? 

Went for the first time ever to Wagamama today, with mum and dad. It’s really good, even if you do drink your soup with wooden ladles

This more than made up for a curious and disturbing dream I had. I dreamt that we found we had forgotten to put something in Rosie’s coffin, so…..we dug it up. Like you do. It had turned into a pink wooden one which wasn’t very nice. And I didn’t look inside. 

I feel better for sharing that. But I am troubled by it. 

Jo xx

Calum is 20

3 Mar

“I am no longer a teenager mum.”

This was Cal’s grave announcement when we went to see him on Saturday for his birthday – which is today. Along with his uncle, and Corinne, Rosie’s friend and TKOE designer.

So happy birthday to all of them. Cal is continuing to have a good time. We saw his array of Valentines Day cards. Most turned out to be from him to me or Chris. He did have a proper one from a real girl though. And we had a brilliant time seeing The Lego Movie. Go and see it. It is awesome :)

So, here’s the birthday boy






He’s on Minehead Beach just before an enormous pub meal.



Oh, and here’s some indoor blood droplet yarn bombing.


I love the tree.

Jo xx

Three things

23 Feb


TKOE has two things and a question for you today.

The first is this:



Yay to Amy. That is fantastic, and takes TKOE related fundraising to over £8k last year :) :)

The second thing is this:



One of our TKOE donations winging its way to Beth’s Wish. :) :) Yay!!!

And the question. The TKOE elves are going to give the website and blog a bit of a revamp. What would you like to see? Don’t be shy about giving feedback. It’s hard to step back and see things clearly sometimes, so all thoughts will help.

Enjoy your Sunday :)

Jo xx

Hey! You’ve been #yarnbombing

21 Feb

Well now. All those blood droplets you knitted – well they joined 8,000 others as part of the new Blood doesn’t grow on Trees campaign to get more donors. And today they’ve been used at the start of a month long Yarnbombing event. You can see more on the NHS Blood donation Facebook page or

200,000 new blood donors are needed and I was really proud to represent all of you for TKOE today at the launch. And those droplets look fabulous. They are all over the country, indoors and outdoors. And it was brilliant to see people queueing up to register today. They especially need more young donors so please sign up if you haven’t already done so. Rosie needed 30 units just to stay alive, so it really is one way you can be a life saving hero.

I bet none of you ever thought you’d Yarnbomb! Here’s a picture



Jo xx

The strangest thing

20 Feb

 We’d all give anything to be able to see and speak to someone we love who has died, judging from what other people have said and certainly what I feel. And I regularly wonder what Rosie would say in any given situation.

But would you really want to speak to an internet version of that person? Go to to see what I mean. Why would you even think of developing that? And why would you talk fishing? 

What is going on here????

These are the thoughts that occur to me as I surround myself with a moat of disinfectant in my house of pestilence . S is on the mend. C has contracted her vile illness. It’s me, the cats and the TKOE dog standing firm against it. 

Jo xx


19 Feb

TKOE has been resting for a few days. Half term, time off work. We should have been up in North Yorkshire, but work, weather and, as it turns out, Sylv being ill, put paid to that. So we’ve been catching up on housey things.

I’ve been going through various boxes of things which just had stuff pushed into them, mainly from 2010/11 . Anyone would think something had been going on then, given the mess everything was in, in these boxes.  In one of them, I found a skeleton screenplay Rosie had done for something. It was very dramatic, and seemed to involve lots of sighing and crying. It was also very very funny. It’s gone back in the box.

Cal’s going to be 20 on 3rd March. 20.

Oh yes, I think I’ve emailed all local blood droplet knitters, but apologies if I haven’t. If any of you are interested and willing to be part of the media event for the blood drop campaign on Friday lunchtime in Cheltenham, can you let me know by tomorrow lunchtime at the latest, earlier if possible. The mystery continues as I still don’t really know what is involved, but then mysteries are good.

And here’s a picture of this year’s first TKOE baby. The one born on 3rd Jan. He’s called Gilad (pronounced Gill-add) Aviv which means eternal joy and spring. He’s very handsome, isn’t he.




I particularly like how he’s got his fingers in his ears. Wise man.


Jo xx


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