Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boxing Day on Planet Paradise

This is the first time in over 30 yrs that we've had the freedom to do as we please on a Boxing Day, so what better way to blow away the Christmas cobwebs that to go fo for a stroll along Swansea Beach, regardless of the weather....

Sea Fever by Me

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and sky.
And all I ask is a Honda Accord and a driver to steer me by.
And the heated seats and the engine’s drone and my hands excitedly trembling,
And the grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey afternoon in the making

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bring me Sunshine

There's a bit of a tale to be told, (only a bit) as to why I ended up watching the following vid the other evening...................It's coming a bit close to Christmas, isn't it? This is the time of year I dig out my Christmas sheet music. Hark! Are those the songs of herald angels people are going to be hearing?

Ah! But no! Because whilst trawling through reams and reams of music scores, I stumbled upon the piano score of 'The Stripper'. "Now why would you have needed that in the past?" one friend questioned me. My reply was, "That it is for me to know and for no-one else to find out........"

I searched out the following as a result and it rekindled sunshiny memories of my late father who was a great fan of Morecambe and Wise. More than that though, I remembered seeing the duo live on stage as a child in the 60s, on one of the piers at Blackpool.

The weather was atrocious with gale force winds, heavy rain and the inevitable high seas. Eric Morecambe dd an aside to Ernie Wise...."I don't know what they're laughing at (i.e. we the audience). I wonder if they know that we'e adrift in the Northern Atlantic?" Sheer class! Enjoy the next class act.........

"Bring me sunshine in yoursmile, Bring me laughter all the while......

Sunday, November 04, 2007


According to the Wikipedia, the definition of ‘wanderlust is as follows: A strong desire to travel, or by having an itch to get out and see the world.

Therefore I admit to having a touch of the old wanderlust because no sooner was I back on Planet Paradise after spending time in Edinburgh but we i.e. ‘im ‘n me were hitting the road for a half-term break in the Cotswolds.

Life as it is, being full of fiery surprises, saw me with eyes ablaze to match the fantastic Autumn scenery surrounding us when I discovered that ‘im hadn’t packed my Golden Linseeds but had packed the Immodium Instants instead because he’d had a bit of the Delhi Belly, having been away from home himself earlier in the week.

Think ‘calm’ I thought to myself. Like hell! I was ablaze inside – this colour .....

Fortunately we were joined at GLEBE COTTAGE for two nights by Jan and Alan of WISTERIA HOUSE therefore the first day of the holiday started with the hunt for golden linseeds, not golden scenery n the Cotswolds. Well it was hissing down with rain anyway so there was little else to do. Just look at this view to prove it..

Jan, bless her, surreptitiously sloped off into a Co-Op in Moreton-on-Marsh only to emerge triumphant with the elusive linseeds, whereupon I collapsed into her arms declaring eternal love and devotion. Ok then, nothing as melodramatic as that so let’s just say that I was grateful.

Quote: The only thing to do is to hug one's friends tight and do one's job ~Edith Wharton

More photos HERE!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Away again - Edinburgh

I was invited by a friend and work colleague to a week away at Edinburgh to ‘cat-sit’ whilst a family member was away….oh and not forgetting the work aspect because we continued to do this with me also being trained further into the intricacies of WOW (Work on the Web)

Well just tell me about pushing the limits of your comfort zones because this involved an 8 ½ hr train journey to Edinburgh on my lonesome and not only that but a changeover at Crewe of all places.

Of course, having a Disabled Persons Railcard helped with the cost but the fear of getting myself lost and confused at Crewe was just way too much to contemplate i.e. had it not been for a facility called Travel Assistance.

I was met at my carriage door, taken to the correct platform and was put onto the correct train without even having to handle my very heavy luggage; heavy, being not with clothes but with camera equipment and digerati type things.

Hey Viola! Here is Edinburgh in the Autumn (Princes Street gardens to be precise)

Of course those who are familiar with MY BOOK will know of my quirky SOH, therefore when the Travel Assistant put me on the train at Crew on the outgoing journey we were greeted with two husky dogs in the bicycle hold. It’s at times like ths that my mind goes into over drive.

I guess it would surprise no-one that my mind was focusing on the fact that their presence there could indicate that the train would find difficulty once climbing into the Scottish Hills and therefore they may well be called upon to take over……..

I’ll say no more abut the journey because I’m now writing my second book but suffice to say that the journey in the Quiet Zone of the train was disturbed by beer drinking young lads on their way to watch Wigan Play Liverpool FC, and a mother and toddler who’d pooped her pants (i.e. the toddler) and said mother read aloud Nursery Rhymes and Bedtime Stories for solid two hours, but none of which helped me to sleep on my own journey.

All in all though, a wonderful week in the company of a true soul sister. The photos can be viewed HERE

Ok then just one more......

Quote: The marvellous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse ~Helen Keller

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Break

Sometimes a song comes along which may not mean anything to anyone else but to this listener, it has meant a great deal over the last year.

Join in with Sarah MacLachlan singing this.....

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Salmon Chanted Evening

I love faffing with recipes as well as photographing food. Here's one I created a few weeks back. From a photography perspective I think I should have used a darker plate, nevertheless it sure tasted droolishous.

4 asparagus tips
strips of smoked salmon
french cream cheese
rocket and spinach salad

Steam asparagus for a mere 3 or 4 mins
Wrap the smoked salmon around each tip
Decorate with a bed of the rocket and salmon salad tossed in garlic flavoured olive oil
Also present with a dollop of the cream cheese.

Use as a starter or a light meal

And don't you love the SoH of one friend who suggested that upside-down it looked like a lady with four legs dancing in a hula-hula skirt????

Feel free to view more food photos HERE! some of which have been featured in a recipe book of mine and the odd one or two in New Pathways Magazine and various other places.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Who can say where the road goes....

Those are the opening lines of the song, Only Time by Enya.
I think it suits this photo I took yesterday very well.

As for the next line.... 'who can say where the day flows?'
this is where it went.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

If a picture paints a thousand words....

.....what would this one conjure up to you?

I took it at an MS Society Regional Event at Twycross Zoo on 12th May 2007.

To me it doesn't merely signify a communication between man and animal but take a look at the broken sculpture; I see this as a reaching out to all those whose lives have been broken by Multiple Sclerosis but also a joining together of those people secure in the knowledge that they do not have to face this condition alone.

It reminds me of the Graham Kendrick song, 'Beauty for Brokeness' (scroll down page to listen) and just how beautiful a picture is this taken by a person, not broken by MS but in fact strengthened by it?

"Beauty and sadness always go together.

Nature thought beauty too rich to go forth

Upon the earth without a meet alloy"

~George MacDonald~

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mrs. Bach's Rescue Remedy - Eggz 'n Beanz

Alas! Planet Paradise has been in rather a turmoil since returning from Bruges.

We've been having work done to the kitchen for weeks now but one day last week I really think I hit crisis point when I was without water and electricity, although I found myself inadvertently nicking a neighbour's bandwith from his unsecured wireless connection so found myself online when I shouldn't have been.

Being without water was the worst bit because I couldn't flush my toilet. I have an embarrasing problem occasionally in that area which meant I was forced to take a Codeine to stop me.... err.......... It totally spaced me out and I felt as if I kind of 'lost' a day out of my life. It was on this day that my kitchen was stripped bare; no sink and no cooker here any more....

The following day I was p'd off with eating takeaways and thought to myself, "Hell! my parents lived through World War 2- I'm sure I can get through this!" Huw wasn't around so once the electric was back on I cooked myself a 'gourmet' meal of scrambled eggs and Heinz Beanz in my microwave sat crossed legged on my lounge floor Shame I couldn't find the Lee & Perrins nor HP sauce but there you go...

I did however manage a 'mental health hour' during the week and nipped out to take some spring photos. Here they are...



OK so a dandelion is a weed but in truth isn't a weed simply a flower growing in the wrong place?

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rule #9

I can't remember where exactly I first read about Rule No. 9 nor the relevance of that number but many of those like myself with Multiple Sclerosis will realise the significance of this Rule after looking at this photo

and Rule No 9 is ...

'Never miss out on an opportunity to pee'

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Cabin Fever Day

Every so often I get what I call a 'Cabin Fever Day' usually when I see that we have springtime wall-to-wall sunshine; I just have to get out there and soak it all up, especially now that I have a new camera which I'm still getting acquainted with.
So yesterday (28/3/2007) I took a cab to Victoria Park Swansea and walked from there along the seafront and back up to town. It took me over 4 hours at my snails pace but it was the most blissful day I've had in errr......since a week last Saturday.

The above was my starting point but you can see more photos and read all about it.........HERE (Click on detail or the individual images to read the whole text)

Is it so small a thing
To have enjoy'd the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done...

Matthew Arnold

Monday, February 19, 2007

And finally the dream becomes reality

Ok, so I've mentioned it a few times by now, but it's not every day a common PwMS gets a book published.

Finally today it is on sale. Profit goes to MSRC and it's published by myself in conjunction with

This came about as a result of me posting humorous tales on MSRC Messageboards where I was encouraged by Lawrence Wood CEO of MSRC to put them all together in book form.

It is available as an A5 sized Paperback; printed in 12pt Verdana to make it easy to read for those with MS-ey eyes; has a flexible spine for ease of 'handling'; a paper thickness which is again easy to handle - oh and let's not forget that it contains 237 laugh-a-minute pages.

Price is £11.25 inc P&P and available directly from me so
Email Me! if you're interested.

Quote: In order to make your dreams come true, you must awaken and take charge ~Natasha Newsome

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Books, Cinemas and Stuff

This is Waterstones Bookshop in Swansea City Centre. It exists inside the housing of the old Carlton Cinema, one of many old cinemas to have escaped the humiliation and indignity of being turned into a Bingo Hall; it’s also a ‘listed building’.

Waterstones also houses art exhibitions on the floors behind that huge window. It can be a multifactorial experience when visiting; books and art! Duw! Duw! I feel as I'm getting in touch with a higher 'being', just being high up in there.

The Carlton, with its double seats for courting couples in the back, is where Huw took me on one of our very first ‘dates’. Huw the Rock must have some kind of sadistic streak beneath that tender heart because one of the first films he took me to see was Ben Hur- all 4 hrs of it (Yawns!) It was before Dolby Surround Sound came into existence but by hell could you feel those seats vibrate with all that chariot fighting; we also felt as if we were in a fast and furious passion wagon without the joy of ............

I was in Waterstones a few weeks ago browsing; only doing so because I love books so much that I end up buying too many and have difficulty carrying them home;I take a peek, well Ok then sit down and read a few paras then buy online when I get home.

A 90yr old woman approached me – well, I say 90 because she looked older than me anyway judging by the wrinkles. Yes OK, so I too have wrinkles but there are ‘wrinkles’ and ‘wrinkles’ aren’t there?

She asked me, 'D'you know anything about books?' I felt like replying, 'Do you have enough of your lifetime ahead of you left to listen?' but instead sweetly (yes I can do 'sweet' when it suits ) replied, 'What are you looking for?' wondering whether indeed I looked like a shop assistant with my walking stick and £150+ Goretex waterproof jacket.

The woman replied, "I'm looking for romance," ……and you really have to keep a straight face at times, don't you? I felt like telling her when the next Derby & Joan club meeting was on, but you can’t, can you?

My mind went totally bank, devoid of authors names but there was a display of Catrin Collier books behind me-an Anglo-Welsh writer. I picked one up and said, “Read the blurb on the back of this, see if you like it”.

“But I don't have my reading specs,” I handed her mine ... “Try these!"

"No, bach- just tell me the price on the back"


This was followed by a ‘Holy Mother of Gaia, Jehovah, Vishnu and the Buddha!!’ look because it was too expensive, I guess. I suggested she try looking in one of the charity shops

Talking of which, “Stop me and buy ONE?” Please? Pretty Please?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Invictus by W.H.Henley

This is a poem -''INVICTUS by W.E. Henley. I've chosen it because the last two lines speaks volumes to me about life with MS.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloodied but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And ye the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

W.E. Henley

Multiple Sclerosis is a condition which as yet has no cure but for which there are many treatments depending on symptoms. What I've learned throughout my adult life with MS though is that we cannot 'undo' the condition, yet we can pretty much take control over things especially with regards the choice of being content and making the best we can out of a situation.

At this moment in time it would be imprudent of me to say anymore because my views form part of the Introduction to my book 'Stumbling Along- A Journey with the Master of Surprises' (c) Eiona Roberts 2006 available at the end of this month.