chicken road

Chicken Road Diaries is now at www.hjblenkinsop.com

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Chicken Road Diaries is now at www.hjblenkinsop.com

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No More Cancer!

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My sister just called this morning to say her final operation to remove pre-cancerous cells from her breast was successful – she is now cancer free!

A few months ago, my younger sister received a breast cancer diagnosis and underwent an operation to remove a small lump. With her permission, I wrote an article How can I be grateful when my life sucks? for the Centre for Holistic Health’s newsletter, detailing her experience of receiving a cancer diagnosis and how she coped with the despair, anger and fear this brought on.

At the time of writing, she was going through chemo, had lost her hair, felt sick from the treatments and still had another operation to face. As of today, she is cancer free, the chemo is over and her hair is already starting to grow back!

Thanks to everyone who read the article and wished her well. She truly feels that having the article out there and knowing her experience helped others gave some meaning and personal growth to an otherwise terrifying experience.

Trapped without wine! My bad…

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Another day in the tropical jungle of Mount Vernon, Westchester, NY and I find myself trapped by a faulty door knob. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. And if that isn’t strange enough, before my impromptu incarceration, I had searched three grocery stores for a bottle of wine and come up empty handed. What is going on?

Three grocery stores selling beer but no wine? The first one I put down to a fluke. The second to very bad luck, but the third, Trader Joe’s, home of the mighty Two Buck Chuck, was a sure thing. Surely. No? NO. Here in Westchester is a Two-Buck-Chuckless-TJ’s. What is this – the end of the world? People of Westchester, what is going on? WHERE IS YOUR WINE?

My question was answered by a very nice man in a wine shop in Pelham. Apparently, the grocery stores can not sell alcohol over 8% Vol.

Fortunately, that conversation happened last night, while I was buying an over sized bottle of Cab. Before the door knob got stuck. Turns out it is as light and fruity as the man in the shop said it would be. Oh, go on, it is afternoon and I am trapped, I’ll just break out the chocolate with that glass of wine. I’m bad 😉

Lights on at 10.30am?

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Yep, it’s that dark. I have both lamps on here in the living room. Dark, foreboding sky and all that malarkey. If this was ‘in the bleak mid-winter’ in old Blighty I could say that’s normal. But New York in July? I ask you… And it’s raining torrentially outside. Heavy, flood-worthy torrents. A good day to catch up on TV and drink coffee 🙂

5 things I miss most about Chicken Road

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Flossy, Queen of Chcicken Road
Flossy, Queen of Chicken Road

1. Flossy
2. Gravy and proper dinners
3. The garden
4. Happy Tuesday
5. Family

It’s humid, they don’t have gravy and I can’t find any wine in the supermarket. I am on the other side of the world and far from Chicken Road and I admit, I am feeling homesick. Only yesterday, I went out and bought (brace yourselves) instant coffee… I know, I know, work of the devil, but my mother drinks it and I while I don’t miss it specifically, I felt driven to take comfort in the familiar. My screen saver is rotating various aspects of Flossy’s evil cat face. I miss her too. I miss her chest crushing weight as she pounced on me around 5am to kneed my throat. I miss hacking back the hedge in the garden. I am also deeply concerned about a potential rise in the slug population, that someone may throw away the rotting garden furniture I took particular pride in perching on without it collapsing, and that the seedlings that were just appearing may have wilted in some freak British heatwave. I miss sitting on the front step in my PJ’s drinking my coffee and waving at the neighbours while the cat fought to defend her territory and The Child ran into the street naked. I miss Happy Tuesday and walking through fields of sheep poo to buy wine, and nuts and cat food. I miss having my family around me, and of people (including random neighbours and non-resident relatives) walking in through the front door like they own the place shouting ‘hellooooo!”

Thank God for Skype. And my return ticket.

The Penny Well

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Moon_and_Cats__by_aimtBe careful when you wish for… Three cats turn their paws to paranormal investigation when a magic well spontaneously erupts in the basement. Worse things than talking toads are turning up with every bad penny, and it’s only a matter of time before this reality collides with another. Terminally… unless the cats can stop it.