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  • All about Gertrude

    Gertrude is the name we decided to call my cancerous breast hence the title of this blog. Although I had to keep my breast through chemo and radiation due to the nature of IBC - once it 'blew up' it no longer looked like my breast and I couldn't wait to get rid of it. Calling it Gertrude was a way of seperating it from myself. This main page is where I write about the general goings on that relate to Gertrude, there is another page that are more a diary of treatments etc This blog is a public blog so although I am being very honest about my battle with Gertrude I have "changed names to protect the innocent" - because everyone can see it if you write comments on the blog pages please use the same abbreviations for other family member or friends that I do. Please feel free to ask questions if you want clarification because then other people who might have been wondering the same thing can read your question and our answers.
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    OH- Other Half (Hubby), OD- Oldest Daughter, MD- Middle Daugher, YD- Youngest Daughter, SB- soulja boi MD's fiance in the army (now ex fiance), OD's R OD's partner, BS- Breast surgeon whose initials just happen to be BS as well, BC- our GP (family doctor), Dr H- my medical oncologist, all other friends family etc will be referred to as initials etc
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    No Princess Alone button

Living vicariously

First a little background – my old school friend ‘the MRD’ has recently relocated from Melbourne to London. He lives in inner London and has commented that reading my blogs and seeing my pictures of the New Zealand countryside and beaches on my blog made him miss being here, and as he wrote, I made him buy a car so they could get away for weekends in the English countryside.  “I am blaming you when M asks why we are spending thousands on a car that will only be used a few times a year; you are my scapegoat!”  He started sending me pictures and I told him I was keeping them in a folder named ‘vicarious England trips’  After reading my latest blog on what I had achieved lately I then got this email which he has given me permission to use on my blog – please enjoy my vicarious holiday in Cornwall as much as I did

Dear J, How could you forget your other Easter achievement – your vicarious holiday in Cornwall! You had such a great time but did find it a bit exhausting (you need to learn to pace yourself a bit more). It was quite a long drive down there (6 hours) but through quite picturesque countryside. It was quite surprising to see Stonehenge just sitting in a field next to the road but by that time you just wanted to get to Cornwall so just looked from the car (fortunately there was a bit of a traffic jam there so you could slow down to look). Why did you forget to take a photo? Oh well, like a true tourist you did manage to get lots of photos of the seaside village of Polperro where you stayed which felt just like a film-set for a Disney pirate movie. Yes, there were even real smugglers caves. You also enjoyed one of the local pubs and several of the local restaurants where dogs were welcomed. The pub had a sign welcoming dogs ‘with big spending owners’ but warned that all children needed a leash however. (tourist humour) 

On the first day you visited a very lovely historic house called Cotehele largely built between 1485 & 1560 for the Edgecumbe family but your camera later malfunctioned so you cannot yet access the photos off the memory disk (needs to go to camera-hospital). You will have to wait for those. The gardens were particularly spectacular with views out over a gorgeous valley. The Edgcumbe family later abandoned this house however to build an even larger and grander one nearby but you didn’t get time to visit that one – maybe another time.


You then went to Antony House where the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party scenes from the recent Alice in Wonderland movie were filmed. The house was built mainly in the 1700’s in very spectacular grounds looking down to the Tamar river. 

Anthony House grounds

The next day you went to the Eden Project which consists of some bio-domes built in an old quarry to promote environmentalism. You were quite disappointed however (sorry about that) as they really weren’t that exciting inside. Just large glasshouses really. You quickly left there regretting the 20 pounds entry fee – I want that back by the way) and went to the intriguingly titled Lost Gardens of Heligan which were much more interesting. These gardens had been established in the 1600s and maintained for almost 400 years but became neglected and overgrown after the world wars but were resurrected in the 1990s. They interestingly include a New Zealand garden section as well as a ‘jungle valley’. You did have very sore legs and tired feet after trudging up and down steep ‘jungle’ paths. 

Lost Gardens of Heligan

On Easter Sunday you drove down to the seaside town of St Ives near the bottom of Cornwall. It was a very hot day and there were lots of mad English-people crowded on the foreshore. You did manage to have a lovely rhubarb/custard ice-cream (or did you have the blackcurrant and cream one?) as well as a real Cornish pastie for lunch. You then drove through Penzance (no pirates on the beach) to Mousehole (no really! Pronounced mousehall); lots of tacky souvenirs there but you managed to resist them all. You then drove down to Landsend to see the very end of the island – not very exciting but something to say that you have done (like visiting Stewart Island). 

Lands End

On Monday you drove back to London along with thousands of others but you took the quicker route via the M4 and M5 which only took 5 hours in spite of the traffic. I hope you enjoyed your holiday! The photo may need to be spread over several emails due to their size. Polperro photos with this email.

Much love,

Your tired travelling companion!

I think I would have definitely tried the rhubarb and custard icecream. LOL!

I have to admit I quite like this idea of vicarious travel.  I think I might go on a vicarious sushi lunch date in Maryland with @Xtremeparnthood next? 

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1 Comment

  1. Ohhh, I’d love to go on a lovely sushi date with you…even if only long distance! What shall we order?!


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