Thursday, December 31, 2015

When Violet went viral !!!

The internet is an amazing thing.  The popularity of this blog surprises me.  The amount to views is beyond belief for what is essentially a blog about my dance with cancer and my veggie patch.  Knowing this I thought a picture I put in a comment about the awesome Hunter Valley Santa Claus might garner about 50 views.  I was very very VERY wrong!  It went viral.  And the flow on effect was even more amazing.

As you may be aware my mum, Violet, has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.  The bevy of oncologists can't offer her any hope and she is deemed terminal.  The oncologists have offered themselves available for advice and information, but have passed mum's care over to the Westlakes Palliative Care team.  Knowing this mum is not happy with her lot and as a result is doing it tough.   

Unrelated my sister Nola sent me a link to a photo of a Santa with an amazing set up.  That got me thinking that it might jolly Violet up to have a photo with Santa.  She has always loved Christmas.  So I found The Hunter Valley Santa on Facebook and I made contact with them asking if they were able to accommodate an 86 year old in a wheelchair.  They replied to my enquiry saying they would love to.  A few days later I went to the venue, "Sinclairs" on Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay, here in Lake Macquarie.   I needed to check wheelchair access.  Mrs Claus was brilliant.  Santa was busy with kids, but Mrs Claus showed me side access easy for a wheelchair and we confirmed a time and date.    A few days later Violet frocked up and off we went to meet Santa.   

Santa and Mrs Claus asked the crowd in front of us if we could pop in straight away and from what I could see no-one there minded, even though they had already waited some time.  Santa is VERY popular out there!     So mum was wheeled in and Santa helped her out of her chair.  She sat on his knee, then on his throne and as he was about to help her back to her chair I asked if Santa could dance.  He could, so they danced just a few steps and we helped her back into her chair.    We weren't there long, but Violet was very very happy at what had just occurred.  We collected out images and USB and headed home.  She was very excited.    I used those images to create her Christmas Cards and had them printed by Redbubble.  One larger print was framed and took up residence on the china cabinet.  That's were I thought it would end.  

So a few weeks later a woman I do not know posted a pic of Santa and her son Levi, taken at "Sinclairs".   I commented on her photo that Santa and Mrs Claus bent over backwards to help Violet get her first ever photo with Santa.   I added a small copy of the image in my comment.   

Violet's photo and comment on this lovely photo of Santa and "Levi" was then picked up by the television show "Today" and they created a new thread or page or whatever you call it with Violet's photo and the story.   I didn't know anything about it until about 10 hours later when Josh rang me and  told me to go have a look and that 6000 people had "liked" it on Facebook.   While he was on the phone the "likes", "shares" and "comments" continued to grow.  He kept calling new figures thru the phone to me.  By morning about 12,000 people had "liked" her photo dancing with Santa.    

Now Violet doesn't really understand how the internet works and isn't on Facebook, but she understood what I said when I told her 12,000 people had clicked a button to say they liked the photo of her dancing with Santa.  By the following morning over 21,000 people had "liked" the photo, over 800 had "shared" it on their own page and over 400 people commented on the shot.    I showed her the Today story on the iPad and she sat and read every single comment.  She recognised just 3 names  and spent the remainder of the day smiling and joyous.  

The following day Santa contacted me on Facebook.  We had tried to organise a family photo with mum, myself, my sister and all three adult grandkids, but two of the kids were working and one was off in Sydney, so it couldn't happen.  It was a very kind offer though.   Just another indication of how awesome Santa and Mrs Claus were.   Sometime later Santa told me that the local television station, NBN, had contacted Mrs Claus hoping to interview Violet and do a story about her visit with Santa.   As Santa and Mrs Claus had been so wonderful to us I offered to get Violet back to "Sinclairs" so NBN could do their story.  And so it happened.   Violet was as excited as a kitten to be interviewed by the lovely Emma Murphy.  She was going to be on the news!!

NBN played to story on Christmas Eve and put it on their website too.  She tells everyone who comes to the house.  Shows them the clip on the computer and we watched it a couple of times on christmas day with all the grandkids here.

So one simple comment about how wonderful Santa and Mrs Claus are had made Violet go viral and she loves it!

Below is the link to the NBN news story.  I hope you enjoy when Violet went viral!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Free seeds

Well this whole gardening thing has become quite a big part of my life.    Not that I spend hours in the veggie patch every day though.  I am spending more time there now as I am on leave at the moment taking care of my mum.  When I do work I usually water a couple of afternoons a week in summer and spend maybe an hour in the patch every sunday morning.   But now I am house bound 24/7 so I am spending a little more time tending to the veg.

The carrots planted back in May are coming to an end and whilst still edible I have let a few of them go to seed to see what happens next.    The seed pods are very lovely with an amazing structure.  I have never collected seeds before.  Seeds are cheap to buy and thats how I plant a lot of my crops.  Seed or seedling, depending on the crop.  As I have abundant hours spare I thought I could collect the seeds this time and see how they go as my next crop.

The methodology is to leave the flower heads on the plant until they are jam packed and looking almost dead. It is then that you harvest them.  Carrot seeds are very small and solid black in colour.  In the flower they have a furry like case around them.    The seeds won't shake out on their own, they need a little human intervention.  Important to tease them out onto white paper or into a while bowl because there are ants and lady bugs hiding in there.  They are easily visible on white.

One carrot left to seed can produce hundreds of seeds.  Seriously hundreds!!!  One carrot might produce 3 or 4 flower heads in which case you can collect thousands of seeds.

So here are some images of the my first foray into seed collection showing the various stages of the seed heads.

Now I am no scientist, but from what I can work out this is how to harvest carrot seeds!!!  I will plant then into a new veggie bed and await the results!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hidden secrets

For the last 69 weeks I have been working from a 6 metre x 2.4 metre tin shed hidden away at the back of Belmont Court House whilst the 3 old buildings that constituted the Police Station were demolished.  Essentially is has been a work site where access was thru a tunnel built of scaffolding and marine ply.  It was hot is summer, cold in winter but it housed all I needed to do my job while the rest of the workforce were crammed into other Police Stations in the area.  You can fit a lot into a 6 x 2.4 shed!  3 desks, 3 computers, a printer/photocopier/fax, second printer, coffee machine, water cooler and a small, but perfectly functional LOUNGE!  At best I worked alone but on one single day we had 12 people in the shed at once. The most we ever had for a meal was 7.  I loved the shed as it housed exactly all I needed and had no room for "stuff" to grow.

The new police station is now complete. I call it the BIG tin shed.  It is fairly grand, but not exactly what we need space wise.  3 staff now share two workstations and two computers.... but it is early days and these things may change and evolve in time.

When the work first began on the new tin shed I mentioned to the Commander that it would be good to put a time capsule into the building. The old Police Station was built in 1964 and for more than half of its 50 years it was too small for its staff.  The Station prior to this one was on a  different site, up near the Fire Station opposite the Gunya Hotel and it had been in Belmont since the late 1800's.  So there was a lot of history that could be contained in a time capsule.  The Commander was enthusiastic and nominated a particular Inspector who could be in charge of a time capsule... and that's when I knew nothing would ever happen.   I waited to see if the idea ever surfaced again, but it didn't.   Demolition of the old station was complete, 11meters below street level dug out and huge concrete piles in situ I decided I wanted to have a little bit of me in the new building, after all I had worked in the one location since 1992!

Different ideas and thoughts came to me as to how to celebrate time but in the end I decided it was all going to be about me!  This new building is likely to survive 300 years so photos wouldn't last, a CD, DVD or USB would probably be unknown to someone in the year 2315.  Construction progressed quickly once the build was out of the ground and I needed to make the move or miss the opportunity forever.  So one sunday afternoon I went to the local shopping centre and had a small brass plaque engraved with my name, date of birth and work identity number.   I felt that was enough.  It didn't need flash or showy, just a memorial of sorts.

Back to the work site monday and I told 2 of the best tradies EVER about my idea.  We looked at the plans, worked out exactly where my new office would be and decided on a great little hiding spot.  I handed over the plaque and the rest was up to them.   Sometime later my phone beeped with a message.  Attached was a photo of the plaque in place!   Liquid nails oozing from behind it, perfect.   A couple of days later my phone beeped again.  One of these two fantastic blokes has tidied up the plaque.  Removed the excess liquid nails and polished her up a beauty!   It was to by gyprocked over sometime later that week.  Objective achieved!

The gyprocking took longer than expected and one day the Commander was doing a tour.  I had to fess up to one of the building managers about the plaque, but he too was a great guy and managed to steer the inspection team away from it!   Finally it was covered over and I could rest easy.  I didnt think anyone would kick up a stink over it.  I just didnt want to get my tradies into trouble!

I've had to take some leave and so I won't be sitting at my desk for some time, but I did go in yesterday to see my new office.  While I was there one of the tradies came in and said "oh.. this is our wall"  I had a giggle and was so happy that the plan had come together.

If the building is demolished n 300 years time it is most likely that the plaque will not  be found, but that is irrelevant.  That fact is it is in there now for the duration and just me and 2 fabulous tradies  know exactly where!

As usual we end with some pics.  There are some tradies and some "progress" shots!  I hope you enjoy!!!

The 6 x 2.4m ATCO shed in situ with the scaf and marine ply entry

Inside the tin shed

Plaque in place

Inside the BIG tin shed ... there may well be a plaque hidden away in here somewhere......

Protecting the anonymity of my partners in crime!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Lights, lights and more lights

As you may have guessed I am a little bit obsessed with photography.  My interest was always macro, the world of tiny stuff, bits of things, not the whole, but then in got hooked on the 100 Strangers Project and I wanted to shoot people, people and more people.   While I was shooting strangers I was also shooting friends and I wanted to shoot more and more people .... with artificial light.

I have scads of equipment, lots, heaps and I even know how to use some of it!!!   My lenses are an even split between primes and zooms.  If I am shooting people I like primes, but for other stuff I usually have a zoom on.  As for lighting I have 4 flash heads, 2 soft boxes, 4 brollies and pocket wizards to trigger all this stuff, but after shooting a model earlier in the week I seriously want to move further up the food chain to strobes.  I know the gear I have can easily replicate the work I did with the strobes, but the one sole advantage the strobes have over my gear is a modelling light.  The modelling light provides me a better idea of what the final image will look like.  It shows where the shadows will fall and how two lights blend or don't blend as the case may be.

This sole advantage is the reason why I am seriously considering offloading all my lighting gear and donating a kidney to pay for some lights that give me shadows!!!  I know it is not really logical or valid or reasonable.... but it is not all about logic.  It's about wants, not needs!

Below are some images I have taken... the first three are in my lounge room with my current soft boxes,  flash heads and pocket wizards.  The second group are shot with strobes similar to those I want to go into huge debt for.  The difference.... I no longer know if I can tell!!

What is glaringly different is the backgrounds.  Lounge room verses studio.   That's my next big purchase I think!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Urbex? Well maybe just vast interiors.

I love the idea of Urbex, Urban Exploration,  but my issue with Urbex is that I am just such a goodie two shoes that I can't agree with trespassing to get the shot.  I don't have an issue if others chose to do it (well I do have a bit of an issue) but it is their conscience that must be placated, not mine.   I do love vase interiors, unfinished projects and demolitions.

I have been very lucky to be allowed access to a number of structures that I really enjoyed a wander through.   Wangi Power Station was decommissioned years ago, but there is a plan to revamp it for housing.  It took a couple of years of wrangling to actually get inside the door and get a guided tour.  I have since been contacted by about 25 people telling me that want to break in and asking about security.  I tell them they won't set off the PIR's cos the guard dogs will eat them first!   Easier was the ask to get into the currently being constructed, Belmont Police Station. I totally understand why the owners of these places want to exclude people like me with cameras.  Morisset Hospital is another venue which has public access if you don't mind a bit of a walk in and in my local area there is an old ammunition dump  and an underground gun placement that are both open to the public.

I'm not sure what I like most about there forgotten and damaged places.  Maybe it is just seeing what remains.  A few have colourful graffiti, but I prefer them without.   With the new construction of Belmont Police Station it was the vast interiors that I really enjoyed.  Open, yet enclosed spaces.

All of these spaces can be dangerous to those are more interested in their cameras than where they are walking. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and not just what is happening in your viewfinder.   Staying safe is paramount.

As per usual here are a few pics.

                                                                Morisset Hospital

Gun placement 

Ammo Store

Wangi Power Station

Sunday, May 24, 2015

100 Strangers... a work in progress

Well it seems like a bazillion years ago, but it was only around July 2011 I first saw a book by Neil Winch about his 100 strangers project.  I don't know where he found out about it or what got him started, but I was fascinated.   The object was to photograph 100 strangers.   So that's introduce yourself, explain the project, find out a bit about them, get the shot and say goodbye within minutes.  The aim is to get a well lit expressive portrait.  I thought it was way too hard for me to attempt, but I was hooked.   Roll on August and I still hadn't taken a shot, but I found myself at the Cessnock Regional Art Gallery for an exhibition.  I had my camera and there were people everywhere.... I spied Stephen James, one of the exhibiting artists.   I had to act. It was now or never!   To my absolute surprise he agreed and the shot was taken.  By September I had 14 in the bag and I met up with the adorable, talented, witty, charming and delightful Chris Belyea for a walk around Sydney.  He challenged me to a "first to 5",  portraits for the day and he won... but ever the gentleman said I had won, which was very much not the case!

By February 2012 I was up to Stranger 38 when I again went to Sydney to meet Neil Winch, who had flown up from Melbourne.  He, Peter Grifoni, Evan Robinson and another guy met up for a stranger shoot in Newtown.  The boys were prolific shooters, Peter even dragging cafe staff out into the street for his shots.  They produced some amazing work that day.  I bagged just 3.  On the trip down by train I began to feel very unwell.  In fact I had to leave early and got back to Central to wait for a train north when I was overwhelmed with sickness.  Upset, ill, crying I rang Chris Belyea.  I knew he would be a the voice of reason.  He offered to drive into Central,  pick me up and drive me home to Lake Macquarie.  I didn't accept. That journey would have taken him more than 5 hours,  but we talked. He offered options.  Travel as far as I could north and when I could travel no more he would come and get me.  Knowing I had an alternative to passing out on the train gave me the courage to go on and I made it initially to Hornsby, then Wyong and finally Morisset.  Chris ringing and reassuring me all the way.

Towards the end of March 2012 Chris and his wonderful wife Sally came up to Kurri Kurri for the Nostalgia Festival where Sally enjoyed the music and the mayhem and Chris and I shot Strangers.  I was struggling with no energy and feeling ill, but I bagged 3 great shots that day.   Less than a month later I was diagnosed with cancer.  My last shot was on ANZAC Day 2012, no. 50.  I knew I would be out of action for a time.  I began shooting sporadically after that.  For a long time I couldn't even carry my camera.  Shots came in slowly.  ANZAC Day 2013 I shot Chris. Just 10 Strangers over 12 months.  I began to think I wouldn't ever finish the project.   Chris is a member of the Galston Uniting Church Men's Choir and they travel to Rathmines to sing at every ANZAC Day.   I shot him and his wife that day.  Chris too suffered from cancer.  I was too ill to attend the 2014 service.  Roll on ANZAC Day 2015 and we met again at the Rathmines Service.  Chris had spent most of the last 12 months in hospital and I had only managed 5 Strangers in 2 years.   He encouraged me to keep going.

So now it is May 2015 and I picked up the camera again.  I bagged Stranger 66 yesterday at Maitland.  She looked so interesting and her story reflected her look.  Just 34 to go.  At my current rate that would take well over 5 years, so I need to lift my game and get it done!

Here are some of the players.  You can see them all here :

#1 Stephen James. Cessnock Regional Art Gallery.

#17 Kristen.  Shot in Sydney with Chris Belyea.

#41 Lee.  Shot in Newtown with Neil, Peter and Evan.

#46 Tony the Quiffer.  Shot at the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival again with Chris Belyea.

#60 Chris of the Glaston Uniting Church Mens Choir.

#66 Kate.  Shot at Maitland yesterday.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Garden update.. the Autumn edition.

On the evening of 20 April Lake Macquarie and other parts of the east coast suffered some significant storms.  The high winds and torrential rain lasted for 3 days.  A lot of trees came down, a lot of property was damaged and a couple of people lost their lives.  I got off lightly.  The power was out for 36 hours and the phone ....  a whole lot longer, about 6 days!!! As a result there was a lot of damage in my veggie patch.  Some root veggies like carrots survived unscathed, but others, like ginger and garlic were awash.  I'm not sure if they will survive and prosper, only time will tell.  Above ground crops were badly affected.  All the corn was lost, an entire bed of it. Although it was planted late in the season and may not have been overly productive anyway.  I thought the broccoli was a goner, but it seems to have survived and the first heads are ready for harvest.  The silverbeet was lost, the spring onions flattened and the peas and beans and all their climbing framework was lost.

After the winds abated and the lawn began to dry out I cleaned out beds 1,3,6,7,9 and 10 and replanted with new seedlings.  20 silver beet, 4 mini cabbage, 8 brocollini, 8 cauliflower, 2 rhubarb, spring onions and a mix of different varieties of peas and beans.  There are still 4 beds unresolved.  Today the sun is out and bed number 11 is getting a makeover.  The basil in it was flattened, but has much young edible leaf.  It will have to go though and then the bed will be built up with a bag of moo poo, and a handful of troforte M, Searles 5 in 1, dynamic lifter, blood and bone and some lime for good measure.  I try to feed the soil, not the plant and it has worked for me so far... but I might be doing it very wrong.

I'm not sure what I might plant in bed 11.  Possibly more beans but it will be dependant on how the rest of the veggies are coming along and what is in stock at the nursery.  The yard needs a lot of work, there are two mid sized trees right down the back, both are harbouring dead limbs.  One assaulted me as I tried to remove it.... one is far to big for me to attempt.  Both might get a visit from Mr Nextdoors chainsaw later today if I see him!!!

Last Autumn white moth decimated my broccoli crop.  So I visited my local hardware and built a  frame of PVC covered curtain rods and plastic corner pieces that allowed me to drape mosquito netting over the frame and effectively exclude the moth.   This works well but the framing cost nearly $40.  A few weeks ago I saw flexible pvc coated metal rods that were 180cm long.  I bought 3 at the enormous amount of $2.80 each and they work in the same way.  They are only suitable for lower growing crops like cauliflower and cabbage, but work well to exclude the moth and uses less drapery in the process!  Still looking for the ideal solution, but I am moth free this season!

As usual, photos follow.

This is the set up with the 180cm bendy poles and mossie net.  Underneath is 4 drumhead cabbage and 8 broccolini I think the broccolini might grow too tall.

As the sign says!

Wish I could get more of these markers, they will last forever and are pretty groovy!

Snow peas, not my favourites, but I couldn't get any sugar snap ones. I usually plant peas and beans from seed, but after the storm took everything I used seedlings to speed up the process.

This time I used carrot tape as my last 3 attempts all failed. 

Pilchy, on guard duty!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Taking Stock: March

I follow a few blogs and LOVE Everyday Miracles     Thought I'd give "Taking Stock"  a try it and see how it goes...

Making:  A list of the jobs I need to complete today.
Cooking:  A huge vat of pumpkin soup from the last of my summer crop of butternut pumpkins.
Drinking:  Water, but nowhere near enough!
Reading:  "The Bounty" by Caroline Alexander.
Wanting:   To knit a blanket for the end of my bed. Problem is I haven't knitted in 30 years and even then I wasn't very good at it.
Looking:  At the computer screen a whole lot more than I should!
Playing:  Words with friends with Mert in the USA.
Deciding:  Whether to post this or not!!!
Wishing:  I wasn't Diabetic when I see all the Easter eggs in the supermarket.
Enjoying: The company of Terry at work.  I enjoy being on the building site and laugh a lot during the day.
Waiting:  For a phone call from my haematologist
Liking: The Health app on my phone.
Wondering:  When the next Ad Astra girls lunch will be?
Loving:  My reading chair.  Soooo comfy.
Pondering:  The endlessness of washing up.
Considering:  Paper plates!!!  (see "Pondering" for further clarification)
Watching:  One Giant Leap (again).
Hoping:  The nursery has some cauliflower seedlings in today.
Marvelling:  At how quickly radish seeds break the soil.
Needing:  To go for a walk.
Smelling:  A tiny vial of "Rochas Man" that I found in the bottom of my bag.
Wearing:  My favourite bracelet.
Following:  The treechanging life of Rebecca on Hamby Home(in)stead
Noticing:  How well my veggie patch springs into life after rain as opposed to regular tap watering.
Knowing:  My garden will never feed us totally, but we enjoy what we produce.
Thinking:  About retirement and when I should leave full time employment.
Feeling:  The huge bruise on my calf after it met the tow bar!
Admiring:  The great work my sister is doing in her home renovation.
Sorting:  My photography props into manageable piles.
Buying:  Stuff I don't necessarily need!!!
Getting:  Hungry!  I should stop typing and have some breakfast!!!
Bookmarking:  A load of new blogs I found through this project!
Disliking:   The failure of some of my late summer crops.  My soil is slightly acidic and this affects propagation and growth.
Giggling:  At the antics of Georgia the beagle every time I visit my sister.
Snacking:  When I shouldn't!
Coveting:  The brilliant photography of others.
Helping:  Lauren with her Ikea shopping list.  It is not a burden let me assure you!!!
Hearing:  The birds twittering outside as the rain had momentarily stopped and the sun is trying to break through.

As always, a few images to end this post.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I'm pumping iron!

Yeah ok, get off the floor and stop the laughing.  As if I am ever likely to turn into a gym junkie!

As part of my seemingly never ending cancer treatment I am now pumping iron... directly into a vein! So the story goes after the Radioactive Ablation in February 2013 my iron levels have continued to sink.  I've had every test known to man to work out whats gone wrong, all with no definitive result.

Initially the GP thought it was a consumption issue. I simply wasn't eating enough green leafy veg and steak.  But I thought I was.  I increased consumption and the only thing to rise was my bad cholesterol!!!    So after about 10 months he added oral iron tablets into the mix  (just what I needed, yet another tablet!!!)    6 months later... the iron was still dropping so I was referred to a gastroenterologist.

I saw him and he decided I needed a endoscopy, colonoscopy and a natty little camera inserted into my belly to plot the course of my gut to find out what was wrong in there that iron just didn't like being around.  Of course He also extracted a HUGE amount of cash from my wallet which, once again, my private health insurance failed to cover.   The camera came back with some magnificent pics of my intestine. Pristine!   Absolutely smick!   I saw them, my guts look great!!!  So this ruined his belief in that I had Coeliac disease, a new cancer, ulcers or intestinal bleeding.   His final report read something along the lines of  "it's obviously a consumption issue".   So that was a total waste of time and money and back to the GP I go.

All the time my iron levels are falling even lower and as a result my energy levels are heading southward at an equally alarming rate.   The "normal" range for which I was aiming is between 15-45.  Prior to meeting up with the Gastroman I was running at between 6 and 8.  So back on the steak I went. This time with daily double doses of iron in tablet form.  Naturally you would expect a rise, however slight.... but no.  I dropped for 6 to 4 and finally to 2.   Getting out of bed, walking to the car, preparing a meal, working all became such a burden that I was perpetually exhausted (and grumpy).

Neither I, nor the GP could work it out.  I found a line on an American website that said Radioactive Ablation messes with SOME peoples blood, but nothing more than that.  The post said it was an "uncommon side effect"  but neither the GP or the Gastro believed it.

So I spoke to my friendly pharmacist about it.  He suggested I speak to the GP about inter muscular iron injections.   I did, but the GP gave me three reason NOT to do it.  1.  It can cause immediate heart problems and his surgery does not have a resus room and   2. It can cause horrible skin staining 3.  inter muscular is not a good way of absorbing iron.  It has limited efficacy.  So in desperation he wrote to the Mater Hospital asking them to triage me for an urgent iron transfusion/infusion.   But they refused.  As I was not in active cancer treatment I did not fit their criteria.

My GP is a real  trooper.  He found a private haematologist here in the Hunter who would see me.  I just had to wait 3 months for an appointment!!!   I saw him and he, unlike Gastroman charged me a reasonable amount and 7 days later I was sitting in the Mater getting hooked up to a bag of fluids.  Yes, the Hospital that wouldn't do me 3 months earlier, were now happy to have in in their facility.

I was hooked up at 8.30 am and unhooked a bit after 2pm I think.  There were 8 chairs and 2 beds in the room and they were on high rotation all day.   I was there the longest and chairs either side of me had 3 and 4 people thru them while I just sat and sucked up the goodness.  On the central storage rack I counted over 40 IV set ups in the morning.  When I left there were probably 4 or 5 still hanging there, yet there were still about 12 people in the waiting room!  The staff were on the go all day.

Some weeks on now and the results has been....less than staggering.  In fact I have not felt any relief at all BUT it will take more than one transfusion get me back to "normal".   The Haemo man has decided that "occult gastrointestinal bleeding" is the cause.  What that means is the Haemo man disagrees with Gastroman.  Thing is I really don't care WHAT is causing it, I just want to feel normal again!!!    The doctors are expecting great numbers, as am I.... but only time will tell.

As per usual a few images but be aware some might find them confronting.