2014 in review by WordPress , interesting 😄

The WordPress.com stats prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


We all hear music and sounds differently yet on a voyage at sea we can relax to our own private world


“I can always tell when a bad karaoke singer walks up to the mike. The drinks glasses start throwing themselves off the shelves.” Anonymous cruise ship bartender, 2014

“Madame Edith has a very unusual voice; was it trained?”

“Yes. But it escaped, and got back out into the wild again…” Rene Artois, cafe owner of Nouvignon, France

Lush and langourous; the string quartet performing in the Grand Lobby Lush and langourous; the string quartet performing in the Grand Lobby

Ah, music at sea. It seems to be always in the background. And yet, all genres of music play a huge part in the enjoyment- or lack thereof- on a voyage of any kind.

This is all the more true on a transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, where passenger attention, shorn of the diversion of ports of call, invariably turns inward. And, on such voyages, the entertainment programmes are always far more extensive than on a normal, warm weather cruise.

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The most special Christmas.

What a blessing to have for Christmas, a new life for 2014 when you thought 2013 might have been your last
Organ donors rock and they live on by being the ultimate gift😄
Please honour this request and place yourself on an Organ Donors list
Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year for 2015

waiting for a liver.

I wanted to write a little post just to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone and thank you all for reading my blog and a special thank you to those who share my posts, links, photographs, ANYTHING that I share about organ donation (there’s a lot of it!) and PSC. You’re helping me make a difference and that is so wonderful! Also a HUGE thank you to the people who have been encouraged to sign the organ donor register, discuss organ donation with friends and family and give blood, you already know how wonderful and LIFE SAVING you all are!

As cheesy as it sounds, I have already received the only gift I needed this year…the gift of life! So there isn’t anything else I could wish for this Christmas, except a happy and healthy time for everyone I care about (massive cheeseball)! To me, Christmas is all about spending time…

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Interesting comment on getting through airport security at JFK and efficient transfer from QM2
Course how many of us get an upgrade to Club Class at the gate
Well why not
Good on you


Deck. Ship. At sea.... Deck. Ship. At sea….

By the evening of Sunday, December 21st, the Queen Mary 2 was just hours from her New York arrival. The weather had calmed, though it was still cold outside. Inevitably, our thoughts turned to our imminent reunion with reality, and our onward travel arrangements for the next day.

That last night on board passed as all final nights on a westbound crossing do; a frantic whirl of final drinks parties, lines at reception checking on final arrangements, the exchanging of contact details, last pictures and, of course, that final farewell dinner.

At some stage in the small hours of the morning, the Queen Mary 2 threaded her way upstream, passing the Statue of Liberty and the floodlit, steel and concrete forest of Manhattan, before making her way towards Red Hook. By the time I peeped out through the curtains of my room, the great liner was…

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“Gotta go. Gotta go, get away…’ Georgie Fame A few days away from New York now, and I’m already getting somewhat reflective on the adventure that is still unfolding like an old movie reel all around me. Here on Queen Mary 2, there is the sense of being both participants in and, also, observers of […]


Post-transplant update and NHSBT Christmas campaign news.

Please remember to signup and be an organ donor
Some cases you can donate while living
This is a person who has had aLiver transplant recently

waiting for a liver.

I thought id just write a little post as an update on how things are going.
I am just over two months post-transplant now and I’m feeling good! I’m still having weekly appointments with the liver team at Derriford so they can keep a close eye on me. My new liver is happy and doing good things! To begin with, my liver function tests were up and down every week because I’m young, my immune system is fairly robust and was fighting against the new liver and giving me slight bouts of rejection but each time this happened my consultants increased my dose of anti-rejection meds and luckily that’s been successful in sorting it out. My consultants are still juggling all my meds to get the right balance for me. It really isn’t straight forward all this post-transplant business but I am so very fortunate with how things are going and that…

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Enjoy a tall sail ship and relax


Close cruising Dominica Close cruising Dominica

So I’m nursing a Margarita- aptly, at five o’clock- at the Tropical Bar of the Royal Clipper. We are close cruising the lush, verdant coast of Dominica, and the mood is quietly electric.

Across my line of vision, a rainbow splits the landscape like some amazing, technicolor lightning rod, even as the last rays of the setting sun turn the still, silent ocean into a glorious, golden carpet. There are hot hors d’oevres on offer on a central display base- watermelon slices, cookies, and some absolutely delicious hot spring rolls, and the crowd milling around the open bar devours them with obvious relish. It’s a relaxed, dreamy vibe in a location that soon became the social centre of the entire cruise.

The Tropical Bar is not one of those cushioned, faux Miami Beach luxe style areas that are so currently popular on the mega ships. Here, it…

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DATE: 29/11/2014

VS030 on the tarmac at Bridgetown, Barbados VS030 on the tarmac at Bridgetown, Barbados

Many think that the 747 is out of date when compared to newer models and, sad to say, I was one of them. This flight convinced me that I might have been a bit premature.

Like many Caribbean airports, Grantley Adams at Barbados actually checks passengers in just outside the main concourse, in the fresh air. It’s an easy process, and a simple airport to navigate.

We boarded on time, walking outside to see the great plane standing against the last glow of the sunset as it warmed up on the tarmac. There’s still something evocative and effortlessly romantic about boarding a flight on the tarmac via a set of external steps.

Delighted to find that this plane was one of the recently refurbished 747/400 series. As…

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Our Story of Lucy ( Labrador Dog)


The story of one of my grand dogs who lives with us in her recent leg operation

As my daughter says, she is a bundle of love to all of us

Note: To encourage or bribe a Labrador dog to eat its meals with medicine pills who is heavily medicated, just hide small pieces of cheese in its bowl. It works 🙂


Lucy started limping in April 2014.  At first it was more noticeable after she had visited someone with hardwood floors in their home, but it started to happen more consistently.  Finally, after Xrays, two vet visits and a trip to the surgeon, she was assessed as having an Anterior Cruciate Ligament rupture in the right stifle and partial tear in her left stifle.  The recommendation being a Tibia plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery.

I didn’t go into this surgery lightly.  The thought of putting my dog through this terrified me. But once I was given all of the options and found out what methods, over time, had worked and what hadn’t, I decided that the TPLO surgery would be Lucy’s best bet at getting back to her normal life of hikes up mountains and along waterfronts.  She was getting depressed not being able to go on adventures because it…

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