Friday, 30 November 2012


181. Pizza
182. Cheese and 'atato pie
183. Chocolate Bar.
184. Baby Beer Squeaked
185. Three Little Pigs.
186. Ugly Troll.
187. Ahem!
188. Come on, Amen.
189. Time to go home.
190. That one day I'll hear all these again, not just as echoes.


Thursday, 29 November 2012


171. Free parking at the Orthopaedic Hospital.
172. Catching up with friends in the waiting room.
173. An honest doctor, not looking for the quick fix.
174. Noisy breathing, so I know it's still happening.
175. Neighbours who will take in parcels and deliver them discreetly.
176. Internet shopping.
177. Sweet conversation and cuddles with a very beautiful seven year old.
178. School photographs actually worth buying.
179. Rennies.
180. My own wonderful bed.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012


161. The RAC
162. That the electrical fault Lotty has developed showed itself now, and not over our weekend away.
163. Getting home safely despite the many electrical weirdities
164. That I haven't yet sold our old van (side note: anyone want a WAV?)
165. A new dentist not scared to stick her fingers in Mog's mouth.
166. Evidence of a good diet apparently showing in her teeth and gums.
167. Smallish girls squabbling over who gets to push Mog's chair.
168. Cats who believe it is their role in life to keep the wheelchair cushions warm.
169. Secondhand fabric stashes.
170. A washing machine with an almost silent spin.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012


151. Looming deadlines - excellent motivational tools
152. Google Images.
153. Inspiration.
154. Old curtains.
155. Fabric dye.
156. A functional sewing machine
157. Creativity.
158. Hands that do more or less what I tell them to do.
159. A mother who taught me to see.
160. The opportunity to use all of the above to serve others.

Monday, 26 November 2012


141. The Catlings
142. Fifteen extra minutes help this morning, as carer and I raced the click to get girls dressed and a respite suitcase repacked.
143. Care staff who check suitcases early afternoon, rather than waiting until bedtime to discover problems with my packing.
144. And who carefully don't laugh or sound annoyed when I tell them I've lost the bookings form again, and ask them to tell me the new dates again.
145. And who make Mog smile, even if she must have been looking forwards to more than one might at home.
146. School transport. Nothing nicer than opening the door and waving a child in, rather than trekking to school in the rain.
147. Ibuprofen.
148. Hot water bottles.
149. Grolly's soggy leaves.
150. Being able to answer "yes" when a small child asks for another cuddle.


Sunday, 25 November 2012


131. Friends who come to the rescue when long-distance mobile blogging goes pearshaped.
132. How much easier it is to push Mog's new chair uphill.
133. A Great Grannie happy to play Ludo with two cousins not quite up to playing it by themselves.
134. Caramelised onion, courgette and feta pizza, as perfected by Mama and Mr B.
135. The driving rain which paused long enough to give us a brisk walk through the village and a pleasant drive home.
136. The independence of the seven year old able to use the service station lift alone - something which will free us up enormously in the future too.
137. Automatic windscreen wipers which adjust their speed according to the wetness of the rain.
138. Being able to sit beside tLP in the back of the bus when Grandad is driving.
139. Mog's pleasure at sitting in the front.
140. Self tightening wheelchair restraints.


Saturday, 24 November 2012


121. Takeaway curry.
122. Gardening in laws.
123. Wildlife enthusiasts.
124. Art gallery café big enough for 14 of us.
125. A baby gleefully enjoying being the last child up.
126. Interchangeable phone chargers.
127. Time to catch up properly without watching the clock.
128. Hearing aids.
129. Comfy cuddly settees.
130. Digital cameras, instantly preserving a piece of the memories.


Friday, 23 November 2012


111. Family gatherings
112. The giggle of a tickled baby.
113. Mama B's apple crumble.
114. Cousins playing together.
115. Getting to know a precious niece and nephew.
116. Swapping family stories and re-airing family legends.
117. Sisters sharing a lilo.
118. That perfect moment when all six children are asleep, and the eight adults still have enough wakefulness to enjoy it.
119. Gerbils.
120. Safe journeys for all of us who travelled to get here.


Thursday, 22 November 2012


101. The knowledge that there absolutely more to Life than this life; that we will meet again.
102. Looking forwards to a lovely weekend with extended family.
103. New insight into the meaning of tLP's name - Special.
104. Dairy Milk.
105. Laughter through tears.
106. Soft snuggly fleece pyjamas.
107. Two girls giggling.
108. Truth.
109. Music for all emotions.
110. The power of words.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012


91. Our new van, Lotty. So named due to her license plate, and because she's a whole Lotty bus!
92. Motability, who helped us with the funding and organised all the logistics, and calmed me down with the DLA people told me the garage was acting fraudulently (they weren't).
93. The manufacturers, for creating adjustable height seats.
94. The first converters, who filled it full of useful little stowage boxes where I can lose file bits and pieces. Oh, and who fitted the world's coolest lift and an extra long set of tracking so we will be able to clamp a third wheelchair in when needed.
95. The second converters, who delivered it to us all clean and polished, and with just barely enough fuel to reach a petrol station, thus giving me the ideal excuse to take it for a drive immediately.
96. The initial assessor, who listened to our reasons for wanting Miss Mog to ride up front with me, but who also made sure we had the space we needed in the back.
97. TLP, for being so spectacularly excited about its arrival and presence in our lives.
98. Automatic headlights, although working out whether they are on or off is interesting.
99. A return to good enough health to get booted from hospital for a friend of ours.
100. The box of French Fancies I forgot to pass on to my friend in hospital. Oops.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012


The often invisible people who keep Helen House ticking over
71. Cleaners
72. Cooks
73. Maintenance guys.
74. Gardeners
75. Fundraisers.
76. Volunteers who do all kinds of things from family support to staffing the shops.
77. Everyone who has ever donated money, whether 10p in a collection tin or £10,000 at a charity event; it all counts.
78. The photographers who keep clicking until they catch the smile.
79. Trustees and directors and managers of all kinds.
80. Therapists - music and physio and massage, and probably a few more we haven't met yet.
81. Carers.
82. Nurses.
83. Doctors
84. Family support staff, bereavement support, chaplain
85. Sister Frances who had the vision for Helen House, which has led to children's hospices across the UK and now around the world.
86. The people who keep the art room stocked with enough craft supplies to delight the hearts of an army of small girls.
87. The teacher who manages to create a curriculum for whoever comes through the door, adapting everything to the needs and health of the child concerned.
88. Disney who donate crates of toys for the children staying. And the other donors of shedloads of Easter eggs, Christmas bits and pieces, and everything else.
89. Other parents who put aside their own concerns to enter into Amana's chatter.
90. All those who liaise with other services, who come to appointments with us, who check up on us between stays, those working elsewhere who visit us at Helen House, for everyone who works towards ensuring that our stays are restful, and that between stays the support is still there.


Monday, 19 November 2012


61. Helen House Hospice.
62. A meal cooked, served, and washed away by someone else.
63. Nystatin, Canestan and Maxitrol (guess what Mog's got!)
64. Staff who have handled tLP so skilfully that for I think the first time ever, she has settled into bed here without tears.
65. Night staff watching over the girls and the other guests.
66. My second home, this beautiful little flat where I can escape to, knowing that I will be contacted if there are any problems, but that I can sleep without listening out for alarms and cries.
67. Friends booked in at the same time; smily faces and new audiences for tLP.
68. A chef who cooked an extra mild chilli just for Mog, in case she couldn't handle the heat.
69. Clean sheets and a comfy bed.
70. Peace. Quiet times away from the hustle and bustle of a quite ridiculously busy life. The silence of a flat with no other people in it. The peace of mind which comes from knowing both girls fell asleep with smiles on their faces. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, and which enables there to be so much joy and happiness around a place where so many children come to die.


Sunday, 18 November 2012


51. A new wheelchair.
52. Watching a small child discover the power of the written word.
53. Chicken risotto.
54. Miss Read.
55. Parents who taught us life skills
56. Radio 4.
57. Bright blue skies with nose tingly cold mornings.
58. Friendly helpful workmen, moving cones to give us access to the footpath on the way to church.
59. Whoever it was who has had the church ramp neatened up with metal edges.
60. Friends of tLP who find ways for her to play hide-and-seek with her in the church forecourt, without jumping onto walls or crouching behind dustbins or any one of the other ways in which she might otherwise be excluded.


Saturday, 17 November 2012


41. Sleeping children
42. The silence of a sleeping house, disturbed only by the occasional crunch from the cats' early breakfast.
43. A comfy armchair.
44. Coffee.
45. Snuggly quilts.
46. An unscheduled day ahead.
47. The selective vision which allows me to ignore the clutter and chaos at floor level, fixing my eyes instead on the pleasing view higher up.
48. Neat arrangements of books.
49. Family photos.
50. Our peace lily.

Friday, 16 November 2012


31. Sausage casserole.
32. Motability.
33. Hoists.
34. CBBC.
35. Texts from friends which come just at the right moment, even if they don't know it.
36. Jane Austen.
37. Blogger.
38. Neighbours who always take the time to chat to tLP and never appear to be annoyed by the fact she pops out to see them every time they pull up onto their drive.
39. The crunch of crisp autumnal leaves under foot and wheel.
40. The school bus.


Thursday, 15 November 2012


21. Our National Health Service.
22. A shower bench, at just the right height to hose down small children.
23. A washing machine with a large drum.
24. Our tumble drier.
25. The builder who designed our sunroom with storage for drier and freezer both.
26. Sisterly love

27. Seizure medication.
28. Fresh ripe blackberries, sun-warmed.
29. CS Lewis.
30. Scented candles.



11. My new shiny gas boiler, which keeps the house so beautifully warm.
12. Benjamin Cat, who washes my chin several times each day.
13. Grolly Beast Cat, and her love of hunting leaves.
14. Autumn.
15. Double glazing, keeping the warmth in and the noises largely out.
16. Peanut butter.
17. Our lovely carer H, currently reading a story with the Little Princess.
18. My phone, which enables me to leave the house but stay connected.
19. Our Community Children's nurse, who called in this afternoon to dress a blister/sore.
20. New and lovely dressings to try out.



1. Bless the Lord  for His unfailing love for me.
2. For his Grace
3. And Mercy
4. Forgiveness
5. Kindness
6. Compassion
7. Company
8. For friends
9. And Family
10. And salted fudge brownies