Maple tree, Clun

“It has been said ‘Time heals all Wounds.’ I don’t agree. The wounds remain.  In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone.” Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

It’s been a long while since my last post to FEC-THis. Summer has come and gone, Halloween and Guy Fawkes too.  My country remains perplexed by the decision of the majority of its people to say goodbye to the EU. The same confusion now looks set to grip the US. The catalyst may be different but the root cause seems similar and all the while, pestilence, war, famine and death continue to spread their wares throughout the globe. Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday, a day when we remember those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. Over the years many millions have sacrificed yet our freedom remains fragile and we continue to live in troubled times.

It’s good to remember but sometimes it’s good to forget.  Or at least try.

So much has happened since I last wrote here, some of it good, some of it not so good. Pre-cancer levels of health and wellness continue to elude me. Simple things like opening jars or bottle tops are more challenging than they might otherwise have been.  Running, climbing (stairs, steep paths, hills) and dancing are all possible in my head but  unimaginably taxing in reality. Reading, reasoning, analysis and deduction take effort when not so long ago they were entirely effortless.

Life is full of compromises and treating cancer to secure more days on Earth has, at least for me, meant sacrificing many things that came easily before.

Being sad or mad about all of this seems the most natural course of action but those emotions take a lot of energy and no amount of rage or sorrow has ever been able to change the past.  Like the deciduous trees shaking off leaves in readiness for winter, weaving rich carpets of amber, bronze and gold, the last few months have been a time of  reintegration. Time to be in the moment, no past and no future, no wraiths from yesterday or castles in the air of some mythical tomorrow. The trauma that was, the scars that are and whatever might light the way or lurk in darkness along the road ahead, none of it matters. It is what it is, no more and no less.

I began this journey because I needed to save my life, but I wasn’t saving it for me. Putting food on the table and a fire in the hearth for those who depend on me has always been the driver. Four years on, I finally realise my overwhelming sense of duty and responsibility for others is nothing short of a Herculean task – one that my tango with cancer leaves me ill-equipped to complete. So I’ve decided Herculean is not for me, whether that’s capturing the Cretan Bull, bringing back the Mares of Diomedes or simply being the person everyone expects to make everything alright.  In an earlier life this decision would’ve left me riddled with guilt, and plagued with thoughts of failure and defeat. Today it brings a gentle air of comfort, long-awaited tranquility and reprieve.

This weekend I’m remembering all those who sacrificed for my freedom and how very grateful to them I’ll always be. In a small and quiet way I’m also remembering myself.






Share the love, give gratitude and forge new friendships

Today I’m both honoured and privileged to be posting about award nominations bestowed by the amazingly generous WordPress community.  So I want to share the love, give gratitude and forge new friendships because when all is said and done what else is life really about?

  • I give thanks to my dear friend Ajaytao for the Liebster – Share the Love – Award.  Ajaytao is both wise and heartening. Take a look at his blog because you’ll find a wealth of treasures there.
  • I found friendship and hold much love for Cancer in my Thirties who nominated me for the Reality Blog Award. Please visit her, share your love with a truly amazing and valiant lady. She is an inspiration for us all.
  • Much appreciation and admiration goes to Glorious Mettle for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.  Friendship is, after all, about being a team. Glorious Mettle is a creative gem in this world so go see what she does because it’s very impressive.

The bestowal of these awards comes with a small ‘to do’ list:


Answer the following questions:

1. What makes you happiest?  Seeing the sun rise, knowing it offers the opportunity to embrace another brand new day.

2. Do you love the Ocean or the Mountains more? Always loved the mountains and the oceans are beautiful too.

3. What has been your favourite moment of 2012?  Seeing my son smile, most recently after being offered the part-time job he wanted.

4. What is your favourite quote and why? I have several – two from Richard Bach come to mind: “Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?” ― because I was physically separated from many of those dear to me in 2012 and “The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder” – because when faced with adversity there is no other way to live.

5. Do you like yourself?  Yes, it took a while but I do and I think you have to be comfortable with yourself in order to truly appreciate the beauty of others.

6. Do you stay up till the Stroke of Midnight on New Years Eve?  Yes, I usually do.

7. Something you wish you get it done ASAP?  I try not to put anything off because tomorrow might not come.

8. What was your favourite class while still in school?  Chemistry

9. What musical instrument have you tried to learn to play? Many – guitar, saxophone, piano, recorder, harmonica, lute, mandolin…. and flute (it remains my nemesis!)

10. Anything you wish you had learned earlier? That life is short so it’s important to appreciate everything (people, places, nature) you love every day.

11. Do you like to do crafts or draw or even paint?  Yes, I love art in all its forms, especially pottery.

Pass on the award to 11 of my friends whom I love and adore:

I’m still breathing
Pulling on the pity strings
Canadian hiking photography
A new free life
Mia Blunt
Mae’s Day
Positive potential medicine
Thoughts of a lunatic
Of Mind or Matter



I’m told no rules for this one and as someone who isn’t always good at sticking to them that’s no bad thing!

team-member award

  • Thank the nominator and link back to their site – Thanks again Glorious Mettle 🙂
  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Nominate no more than fourteen readers of your blog you appreciate and leave a comment to let them know about the award.
Memoirs of a Dragon
Marty’s Place
Russian recipes from the self-cooking tablecloth
  • Finish this sentence:  “A great reader is…      ”

 Someone who sees the words, hears their intent, feels their meaning and imagines beyond them….