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

@LondonMarathon 4hrs 19 mins 22sec

24 Apr

And they look like this at the end of it


Amazing. Truly amazing.

Jo xx


24 Apr

Today is the day! Alice has smashed her fundraising target and soon will be running that marathon for Rosie, TKOE and Hope Support Services.


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Jo xx

7 years old

6 Apr

The TKOE blog is 7 years old. Thank you WordPress for letting us know. I came on here to let you know.

I was going to copy and paste the first ever entry by Rosie. But when I went to look at it, I’d forgotten that she’d done a soft launch of it. So it was just a few words as she was setting up. And then I read on and discovered that this week was when she discovered her cancer had spread, so no liver transplant.

And then I found this picture. And I thought, that’s the one. She was miserable about her hair falling out and having it cut short. But she looked fab. So that’ll do me.

7 years. That’s a lot of blogging and commenting between us all. Thank you for following. It means a lot.


Jo xx


31 Mar

Just noticed the blog is nearly at 530,000 hits. That’s more than half a million. Jeez! So by the time you’ve all read this, it should go well over. Yay!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Thats not the only reason I’ve popped on here though. These two lovelies dropped by today to say hello and pick up some TKOE wear ready for the last few weeks of their marathon training. It was lovely to meet Alice and Meg. So proud of what they are doing.

Alice is at 91% of her fundraising target so if you are thinking of donating to her for Rosie, TKOE and Hope Support Services do it now so she can get to 100%.

And TKOE gets closer to the Β£50,000 raised πŸ˜‰.

Link is in the last post.

Jo xx