26 and 1 day

4 Jan

I couldn’t find the words to write yesterday on Rosie’s 26th birthday. I woke up fine but then as the day went on, it was all a bit up and down. We’ve not gone away this year, for various reasons, so Chris and I decided to go and be a bit touristy and went to an art gallery/museum. Rosie liked a good gallery. Poor Sylv is ill, but had to work. Cal was off doing something or other – it turned out he’d ripped his only pair of non-jeans trousers so had to go and buy a new pair.

She’d have been 26 years old. So strange to have a child that old, because 26 is proper grown up and adulty. I wonder how she’d have celebrated.Β  Here she is, anyway :). Happy birthday, our beautiful girl.

In honour of Rosie’s birthday, TKOE is going to be making some donations again. We’re just waiting for a couple of Christmas donations to come through and then we’ll let you know who and what. It’s fabulous that people are still raising money through TKOE. We can’t thank you enough. It all goes to organisations that help friends and family of people who have cancer and other life limiting illnesses.

We’ve been wondering about keeping TKOE going or not – it’s a difficult decision to make. It won’t be finishing this year though because in the birthday gloom, a fundraising and getting fit plan has come together. Which makes sense, because on Feb 1st it will be 10 years since Rosie was diagnosed.

So, what’s the plan – there’s a brilliant scheme called Walk 1000 miles. You can have a look here https://walk1000miles.co.uk

What we’re going to do, is join this and for every mile we walk, we’re going to put some money in a pot. Say 20p a mile but it could be less, it could be more. For TKOE. That would be Β£200 by the end of the year. And if the walk is particularly easy or hard, we might alter the amount we put in the pot.Β  How fab is that??? And if you do it every day, it’s only 2.74 miles a day. Which is EASY.

And you can use any sort of pot and pay any sort of mileage. Here’s two pots which started today

So, who’s in? If you are, let us know as it would be brilliant to know who is doing it and raising money for TKOE. And if you’d like a TKOE t shirt, let us know and we’ll send you one :). For free. To say thank you.

And that, is all …. for now. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Jo xx


6 years on

12 Sep

I know, I know. Nothing on here for months. Truth be told, I’ve had to take a bit of a break to clear my head. New job, new challenges and time marching on meant I didn’t have the words. I had the inclination. But not the words. A kind of writers block, I guess.

I’m not going to give a catch up today. That’s for another day. But today is the 6 year anniversary. Seems so long ago, and so near. Thinking of the things she’s missed, wishing she was here. She would be so very proud of Cal and Sylv – as well as telling them off for the things they shouldn’t be doing; she’d would be impressed with the things her cousins and friends are doing; and she would no doubt be doing something wacky and brave herself.

As ever, we’ve had some lovely, powerful messages from so many people. It means so much that everyone is remembering Rosie. Remembering the life force she was and continues to be.

Remembering you today and every day, babe

Jo xx


3 Jan

So, Rosie would be 25 today. 25???? That’s a whole quarter of a century. I wonder what she’d be doing – having a grand old time, whatever it was.

We aren’t going away for her birthday until Feb, to accommodate A level revision and mocks. Good job really because Chris has been ill since the beginning of time, it feels like. So that would not have been fun. Cal is going to the pantomime, as he officially has the best social life of all of us at the moment. We’re off to Reykjavik in 6 weeks though.

Not being away has been pretty hard. Got into a fairly pointless anger about her not being here. When we’re away it’s much easier to stay focussed on other things.

Anyway, what we can do is announce the birthday TKOE donations this year, which is a much happier thought.

Drum roll please……….

This year, Hope Support Services and Forget Me Not Childrens Hospice will get Β£1250 each. Yay πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

This is all thanks to TKOE supporters who have continued to raise money, one way or another. Thank you – it means so much to us and to all the other people who are helped by the work the organisations do. Rosie would be very proud.

We’ve still to hit the Β£50k barrier, but we’re not far off. And from April I’m going to be giving some more time to TKOE as I’m leaving my job to have a bit of a different work/life balance. More of that in a future post πŸ˜€πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜±

Here’s some pictures or our beautiful Rosie, 25 today.

Jo xx


31 Oct

Chris and I dropped over to meet Cal last week for lunch at the cafe he is volunteering at. Cafe 16 in Coleford if anyone local is interested. It’s a lovely place and the food and coffee is fab.

Over lunch, Cal gave us a blow by blow account of his journey there. Far more detail than usual. He goes with a member of staff from his house. Or so he said.

It turns out that wasn’t quite true. Cal is now taking himself on the bus to work. Independently. We’re now in a state of great pride and wishing we didn’t know so we can’t worry.

Who’d have thought it! So this opens up more things for him πŸ˜€πŸ˜€. What a boy.

Glad it’s not distracted him from Halloween though.


Jo xx

Random things

16 Oct

Hello. Don’t know about you, but this evening is beautiful here. Sunny and autumnal and interesting. I don’t usually like autumn – too deathly really. But this year feels different. Possibly because 2016 has been a strange old year. All things feel slightly tilted.

This week I’ve been reading lots about people’s perspectives on death. Deaths of their babies and deaths of older people. Sounds morbid, but it’s comforting. Really comforting.

Two things have been particularly helpful – the first is about how, when people talk about the death of their child or, equally, the early death of a parent, a really common sadness is about future weddings and how the person won’t be there.

Not being at Sylvie’s wedding was one of the things Rosie was most upset about. Planning Rosie’s funeral was the closest we could get to a wedding for her. Curious how that is a defining thing for people.

The second thing is talking about children. I know I fretted about this in the early days after Rosie died – how many children did I now have?

Our approach has always been that we have three children. But then, inevitably, when people ask about them, it sometimes feels quite callous to lead strangers into the bombshell of Rosie. And then they apologise and then you have to say it’s all ok. And they weren’t to know, etc, etc,etc. All the while wondering why there’s not a better way of dealing with this, and at the same time knowing that not to talk about her would be wrong.

So I’ve inverted the family order, so the youngest is first and then the middle – and that way I can talk proudly about them before breaking the news. Because apart from some brave or similarly afflicted people, it does tend to be a conversation closer. And I wonder if I look tragic when I speak about it? I don’t feel tragic – but who knows?

Anyway, one of the things I read was from a parent with a similar experience. And they were resolute about talking about their son to strangers because – and this is so obvious I’m annoyed I hadn’t thought about it before – they don’t not mention their grandparents in suitable conversation even though at their age most people’s grandparents are dead. They always had grandparents so there’s no question, no confusion, just acceptance. That’s so liberating.

Final random thing – I tried to call Cal last night. Twice he cancelled the call. Cancelled MY call. This is Calum. Eventually I got a furtive text – ‘I am watching a film Mum’. Or in other words, go away and leave me alone. I was so proud. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€.

Jo xx


I flew a plane, Mum

15 Sep

Cal is so brilliant. He just gets on with life taking each thing as it comes. Because he’s an adult he can, of course, take his own decisions. And that means he is doing things we don’t always know about.

At the beginning of the week he told us he was going on a flight. He was insistent that this was in Gloucester. Or possibly Cheltenham. We decided he was in all likelihood going to an air museum. Maybe with a flight simulator involved.

Actually, what he was doing was going in this:


From Cotswold Airport. With a brilliant charity called Fly2help. Wow!

Which proves, once again, that Cal speaks the truth and that there are so many fine people out there. It must also mean that he did indeed fly a plane.

Wow again!

Jo xx


5 years

12 Sep

I’ll be writing a bit more later today but I just had to say something now. Writing this at 5 years and one hour since Rosie died.

Someone said yesterday about the 15 years of the Twin Towers being so much time and no time. That’s how this feels too.

I wish she was here.


More later.

Jo xx

Helping hands

26 Aug

Hello hello

This August has been fabulous. I’m usually in a haze of remembering August 2011, despite going on holiday. This year though, we’ve had two goes at being away ( have just been in beautiful Edinburgh for a few days), but both times we’ve been really active. And that’s not left much time for thinking. Which has been good.

It’s also given some time to catch up with old friends and see what’s going on. Now, remember how Rosie set up The Knock on Effect because of the way cancer affected not just the person with cancer, but loads of people too? And how TKOE became a huge net of support?

Well one person who helped Rosie hugely in setting up TKOE was her art teacher, Kirsty Smith. We’ve stayed in touch with Kirsty, and we’d like to give some support to Kirsty who is trying to get some funding for a PhD.

She needs some votes very quickly to get this, and it would be excellent if TKOE followers could add their votes to help her on her way. It won’t cost you anything but a small amount of time and it would be such a good way to support a TKOE and Rosie supporter.

.Just follow this link

And it should be obvious what you have to do. And then you can have a good bank holiday weekend πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€.


Back from holiday

3 Aug

Um, ok, been a bit quiet on here for a couple of months. A couple of months….I’m not quite sure how that happened. Partly it was to do with tech problems – wifi, computer running slow, phone playing up. All the various devices which can be used one by one went through hissy fits.

And then it was being busy.

And then it was our holiday.

But we’re back now. And fighting fit. And so we should be – Cal, Chris and I have just canoed 70 km along the Dordogne river, interspersed with lots of walking and food and drink. So despite being probably the most active holiday we’ve ever had as well as being great fun, we’ve also probably consumed the most calories ever. Meanwhile, Sylv sunned herself in Dubai. Because it was hot.

I’m just gathering thoughts for how to raise another Β£1500 for TKOE to mark 5 years in Sept and also because that way TKOE and Team Kilburn will have raised Β£50k. So in these hazy restful days of summer, have you got anything to suggest??

Because cancer carries on and people carry on needing help and support. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

It’s good to be back.

Jo xx


5 Jun

Well hello! Anyone would think I’d run Β the London Marathon and needed time off from blogging. Well, I didn’t. I just had a very very busy few weeks. I thought I’d better drop on here to let you know everything is ok though.

We’ll be making some TKOE payments very shortly, which will be exciting. I need to work out how much we need to raise to get to Β£50,000. With Alice’s running efforts, we’re very very close indeed.

The other reason for doing a post, is to share Calum’s first ever independent selfie. He’s called it, simply, ‘face painting’. Awwww.


I’ll be back soon.

Jo xx