That's something to celebrate of course: the non matching bedsocks (worn in Colin's absence I hasten to add) and thermal nightie don't look all that alluring either, but are necessary as it's a tad parky today. I'm trying to leave the heating off overnight, which is fine when I have my usual three hot flushes a night, but not so good when I wake up with a blue nose!
There was of course very little to grumble about last week when I met Il Divo – what lovely gentlemen they were too, and very complimentary – which was a bonus! It was extraordinary to hear the power of their voices in our somewhat small studio, and the hairs on the back of my neck – which have only just grown back – were left standing! They said they'd definitely come back another time, so here's hoping!
Along with working I've managed to visit Amica, our lovely model who was also diagnosed with breast cancer this year. She's doing very well following her reconstruction and is now on a different drug to herceptin to keep things in check.
She wanted to see how my hair was growing back and so I took my wig off and put it on the windowsill – next to hers! Looks funny doesn't it She's hoping to come back to work soon too which will be lovely, and I've passed all your good wishes on to her.
My CT bone scan was all clear and now I just have to wait for the MRI results of the breast tissue, but am expecting good news there too as it would be staggering to think anything sinister could still be lurking after that much chemo!
I'd be fibbing though if I said I wasn't a little nervous when once more, face down, I was manouvered into the MRI tunnel. Luckily I could just about hear Bobby Darin singing Mack the Knife over the constant banging, and before I knew it I was out.
Those nerves were nothing though compared to the stomach-churning, body-shaking ones I had on Monday night before I read at the Candlelight Carol Concert in Knightsbridge. Breast Cancer Care has asked me to write and read a Reflection for them, looking back over the last year. St Paul's is a beautiful church, and I was thrilled to meet Zoe Wanamaker, Bill Paterson, and the delightful Dan Stevens – who stars as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey.
My dear friends Ros and Jo both came along and as a complete surprise so did Lucy and Richard! Colin was there with me and held my juddering candle as I crept up the carpeted steps to the Lecturn. Suddenly I was nine years old in St. Mary's Church East Molesey, where I had read from the bible for an Easter Service.
Then, I'd read it through without stumbling, although I was a little worried that the word 'loin' might have caused a ripple. This time, as I laid my speech out in front of me I looked up and into the congregation and a feeling of peace came over me… might sound silly but I felt instantly calmer, and apart from a slight wobble towards the end, I managed to read it through without crying. All was quiet as I walked back to my seat and as I saw my friends and family smiling at me, I knew that this last year, with its fear and uncertainty had been lain to rest…. the future is so much brighter
After the service, Colin and I were invited to the Lanesborough Hotel for a champagne supper where we had a wonderful night with most of the management from Breast Cancer Care and the delightful fashion designer Hilary Alexander.
After a delicious meal, I was given the microphone and had to draw the raffle…. even though I picked a diner completely at random, can you believe the first ticket out was Colin's!! I put it back of course and someone else won the midweek stay in the Cotswolds, but it was anything other than a disappointing night for me….
The auction that followed saw my man bidding on a trip to Sydney via Dubai, which he won!!!! We will be heading out to Oz in the Spring before my op and I will finally see my brother after seven years – I am soooo excited We'll also visit Colin's brother who lives in Tasmania and owns a vineyard there – could be interesting?! How lucky am I
Today I'm visiting properties with Sam who is looking to move and then this evening we're off to Greenwood Towers for supper with Deb and Paul, Kathy and Olley and Claire and Dan… I'll make sure I take my camera!
I'll leave you with a picture of a rather unsual creature who lives up the lane… I've never seen a black squirrel before, but this one is particulary friendly although bloomin' fast on his feet, so rather difficult to photograph. Any idea where he might have come from? I thought we only had red and grey squirrels in England??
As always, thank you for keeping in touch with me, and for keeping me in touch with your lives. I hope that all is good in your world as Ali's Army marches towards a New Year
Have a great week, Love Ali xxx