International Childhood Cancer Day @WesternDaily@CLIC_Sargent

15 Feb

Hey! 15th Feb is International Childhood Cancer Day. Who knew?

Out of nowhere in my Twitter feed I find out that one of our local papers, the Western Daily Press, is raising money for CLIC Sargent. All you have to do is buy a copy tomorrow.

Now, CLIC Sargent is a cause close to TKOEs heart, because if it wasn’t for them TKOE would never have started. You see, when Rosie was at her grumpiest, two days after her first liver resection, the CLIC Sargent person at the hospital refused to be put off by a monosyllabic teenager who wanted nothing to do with her.

She got Rosie a grant which bought the first TKOE laptop.

She also got Rosie and Toby the trip to the Harry Potter film set where they met Daniel Radcliffe.

And both those actions helped make life worth living for Rosie and us, despite cancer.

So, if you see a copy, buy one tomorrow. We will.

Jo xx

#WorldCancerDay 2

5 Feb

Cancer – the worst of times, the best of times. Predator, insinuator, genetic coding gone wrong. Thank you Mr Tony Walsh, @Longfellapoet for bringing smiles to our faces yesterday, and for triggering another fundraising opportunity by a very patient group of people.

More anon, but meanwhile, with thanks to Tony, Chief Designer Mike, everyone who contributed ideas, and Rosie for being the inspiration, here’s the link to A Poem for Rosie.



And yes, TKOE elves, I know this isn’t the most elegant way to do this and the link might not work, but I still have computer problems and this is the best I can do. See!

Jo xx

Oh! It’s #WorldCancerDay

4 Feb

Did you know that? That it was World Cancer Day? 7 years ago, Sunday, Rosie was diagnosed with cancer. So today we were running around getting ready for her first big operation, whilst in deep shock. We didn’t know then it was World Cancer Day, either.

There were some

Sorry, I got distracted then by the footage of the plane crash in Thailand. Terrifying.

Where was I? Oh yes. There were some brilliant people on the radio this morning talking about how, once you realise that you might have more than a few weeks to live, (as long as you do, of course), a cancer diagnosis is hideous and a life changer. But that that life changing part isn’t always negative. So true.

Still wish science would hurry up and find some cures though.


Jo xx

So busy

2 Feb

Just dropped in here quickly to say there’s a ton of stuff to tell you and I will do but I’m really busy at work and I have to go on our other computer to do it as my technical skills don’t work on my little iPad to do it, and our computer isn’t working properly so I need more time than I’ve got for the next few days to do it so you’ll have to wait until the weekend probably for me to do it properly, but meanwhile thank you Mr eBay for a further £8 to our 3k target.

That is all.

More anon.

Jo xx

Fundraising and parties

25 Jan

We love all the ways you all raise money for TKOE :).

Our £3k fundraising challenge for 2015 is gaining pace, and the latest is by Kath, Rosie’s aunt. When we saw her at Christmas she was needling away with a thing. We weren’t entirely sure what sort of thing, and she was very coy about it. Anyway, she was designing something for these cold days. And she’s now raising money by releasing her pattern on Ravelry and asking for donations. For TKOE.

All you knitters out there- the web address is

And it looks like this:


Its its only just been posted and TKOE has £10 so far :) :). Yay!!

Meanwhile, in Minehead, Cals party preparations are going well. He now has 70 people going. Last night he told us he was going along to Foxes Hotel. When we asked him why, his enigmatic response was ‘wait and see’. Turns out, they’d had a party for the students. What a life!

Jo xx

Good start, good start

14 Jan

Hey! How’s your new year going? Ours is going pretty well. Cal’s back at Foxes and his project this term is to arrange, all by himself, his 21st birthday party. We pay. Of course. But he organises. He’s already decided venue, music, food – he’d forgotten about guests, but I guess that’s an autistic lad for you :)

TKOE’s started well too – we’ve had an invite to a charity talk, in June. And already we’ve knocked £182 off our £3k target. Thank you so much to mum and dad, Kath, Mike, Joe and Maddie, Richard, Alex and Michelle.


Jo xx


Ciao and 23rd birthdays

3 Jan

So,I’m sitting here in a spot overlooking The Vatican in Rome (obvs), pondering our Rosie’s 23rd birthday.  Our short adventure to here is part of our now grand family tradition of taking ourselves away somewhere to celebrate Rosies birthday. We’ve rented a lovely apartment for a couple of days and in a minute we’re going to stroll to the Coliseum. And we won’t have our photo taken with the gladiators. Because the really lovely people who own the apartment have told us not to.

In the weeks before Rosie died, she did a lot of thank yous. (She did a lot of warning me about things that I’d find under her bed too, which included some cigarettes). One of her thank yous was that we’d taken her to a lot of places. Whilst we are lucky we can afford to do that, it just seemed right to continue the travelling theme. So this year it is Rome.

Cal and Sylv are just getting ready and we’ll spend the day doing touristy things and then having a birthday meal tonight. We’ll have to get chicken in there somewhere, which was her most favourite. Who knows how she’d have spent her actual 23rd, but chicken would have appeared in it.

I woke up at 2.30 this morning (don’t worry, I have been asleep again). She was born at 2.45am so it seemed right to be awake at that time. Just remembering that perfect new baby, with the dimples and the nails so shapely they looked manicured.

The other grand tradition on Rosie’s birthday is to make TKOE donations. TKOE has raised £2,000 this year – THANK YOUUUUUU – so we are going to pay £1k each to Hope Support Services and The Teenage Cancer Trust.

We’re just so humbled by the fundraising which people do on behalf of TKOE, which helps families and friends of people with cancer and other life limiting illnesses. And keeps Rosie’s legacy alive. So thank you to all of you for what you’ve done.

Which brings us to this year. So far, you all have raised £47,000 ( you also raise in convenient round figures, which is helpful). What say you we all aim for a further £3,000 this year, to get TKOE up to £50,000 for Rosie’s 24th? Does that sound like a plan for 2015? We’ll get a totaliser sorted and we want to here all your stories about how you’ve raised it too :). We like stories, a lot.

And we’re going to run the bloodometer again cos blood stocks are a bit low and we know someone who’s just needed a transfusion. So let us know when you give blood, and well done to people – you know who you are- who have faced needle phobias and all sorts to donate.

So, here’s to Rosie’s 23rd birthday, to some TKOE fundraising to get us to £50k, some blood doating and to a lovely weekend.

Oh, and here’s a view of our neighbour’s house.


And one of Rosie for good measure.


Jo xx

Happy New Year

1 Jan

to youuuuuuuu. We were asleep by 10.30pm last night, so no Hogmanay for us (sorry Scottish friends and relatives). Hope you all had a good time and that 2015 is a positive, productive and generally pleasing year. I like odd numbers better than even numbers so I generally feel better disposed to this year at the moment.

Now, we are off on a small adventure tomorrow, for Rosie’s 23rd birthday on Saturday. So I am going to try to blog from  there, but don’t worry if that doesn’t work, as I’ll blog on Sunday instead. Because Saturday is the day we make some TKOE donations on behalf of Rosie :).

ive got a new gadget for Christmas which means I can post some new photos of Rosie but not till next week. And during a bit of post Christmas cupboard clearing out, I found some photos I’d forgotten we had, so they shall be first up, I think.

Till Saturday, then. Or Sunday :) :)

Jo xx

A very merry Christmas to you all

25 Dec

Merry Christmas every one. All the elves as TKOE say thank you for all your support this year. Especial thanks to the Patersons and the Munro Turners for the Christmas donations, which are a lovely surprise.

We are having a family Christmas on the north coast of Anglesey, which is beautiful, and windy, and wild and cute all at the same time. We’ve not yet opened our presents apart from Chris and I to each other. Chris’s favourite is the special dog whistle which has opened his world to the Acme whistle website. Go look.

Mine is all the kit to do Lino cutting, which I’ve always wanted to do :)

have yourselves a lovely time with whoever you are with. It’s a special magical time of year.

Gracie the TKOE dog and Bobby her friend think so too.


Jo xx

Hello again

7 Dec

Hello there. It’s all been a bit busy the last few weeks. So when the third person asked if I’d given up the blog, I thought it was about time I checked back in. I’ve not given it up, not at all. But work and other things have just been relentlessly busy since our lovely trip to GRH to pick up that big fat cheque. And as it gets towards Christmas, it gets harder again, and sometimes that makes it difficult to write. Which is infuriating, because at other times, writing really helps.

We’re all getting along pretty well, apart from the winter viruses which are sweeping around. We’re also in the middle of mocks season. Chris and my grasp of chemistry, biology and physics has been revealed to be be a significant weakness. We’re pretty good on English though. And beer.

Cal is just fine in his semi independent flat. He seems to go for a surprising number of haircuts, so we’re expecting to find him shaven headed when we go to pick him up for Christmas next term. He’s going to be doing some work experience in our local shop for a few days when he comes home, helping them do deep cleaning for the new year. He’s a trained operative of course, so he should find it very easy. As long as they have the right colour cloths. He will be quite strict about that.

On the TKOE front, we’ve been sadly lazy. But we’ve got a wedding coming up next year which is raising funds for TKOE; and Miss Deborah Morgenstern, geography teacher and beech leaf noyeau maker, also got married and all her guests raised money for Hope Support Services. Such a brilliant idea. Thank you to all of them for doing that.

Now, Amy, Rosie’s friend, is going off travelling next year, and wants to do things for TKOE whilst she’s at it. Any ideas? Rosie would have been 23 in January, so she’s wondering about something to do with 23. But not sure what.

So, the blog is still running. TKOE is still running. We’re still running. And still remembering Rosie.

Jo xx


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