Kate Middleton loves Heir Raising - YEAH!

In my dreams!! But AMAZING NEWS ….. Heir Raising has been Shortlisted for a Brilliance in Blogging Award! Please click on badge and vote to get me into the Finals …

Shortlisted in BiB Awards 2016

There are some outstanding blogs so it’s a real honour to be in Reader’s Choice next to such talent. I’ve been out of range near Hambledon Hill, a 600 ft high prehistoric hill fort in Dorset and wasn’t able to post for a few days as the Neothites or whatever they were called then, never built what would frankly have been a very useful mobile phone mast. Tsk tsk.

So thank you so VERY MUCH if you voted for me.

I wanted to enter in 2015 but it’s been a bloody hard year.

A year ago today, my husband underwent major heart surgery, and I was waiting ‘phone in hand to hear from the hospital how it had gone. A friend, Charlotte, was keeping me company when the call came.

Everything froze as I waited for the meaning of the NHS surgeon’s words to sink in:

“D has just come out of the operation and it seems to have gone very well”

The next thing I heard was Charlotte popping a champagne cork as tears ran down my cheeks.

He was discharged just six days later – not enough beds. If you’ve ever been primary carer for anyone, you’ll know it’s one of the most difficult jobs in the world. None of my own family live anywhere near, my steps were working abroad or for their degree, and the sort of help I needed was for a hundred everyday tasks – putting the washing on the line; checking emails and acting on school info; listening and reassuring our brave son talk about his fears and taking him to visit his Dad; spending 40 mins twice a day queuing for a parking space at the hospital; filling the freezer with home made chicken soup; running up and down the stairs with meals and drinks; taking the washing back in when it started to rain; endlessly repetitive conversations with my mother on the ‘phone; putting the bins out – I couldn’t delegate any of this. Feeling guilt about even thinking about my own needs. Feeling more guilt about how I sometimes wanted to (but didn’t), tip chicken soup into still annoying husband’s lap. Feeling guilt about wanting to run away from home.

Sleep-deprived and mind-achingly exhausted, I struggled to find the energy to look after him, our young son as well as working full time. Worrying too about my elderly and increasingly frail parents who live in another city, finding cover to visit them only to find they’d forgotten I was coming and weren’t there. At times I felt so torn between everyone’s needs, there was nothing left at the bottom of my glass, and life seemed too bleak to even think up funny cartoons let alone draw them.


Thankful to friends who rallied around, three especially who cycled across town with basketfuls of nutritious and beautifully prepared meals.

Thankful to the wonderful family at our son’s school who cared for him over 3 weeks in case there was a post-op emergency ambulance trip back to A&E (there was), and to enable me to make frequent trips to hospital without worrying about school runs.

Thankful to those of you who knew and sent messages of support.

Thankful to the surgeon, doctors and nurses at the JR who saved my husband’s life.

Thankful for our son who has his father back.

Thankful for my husband who has his life back.

Thankful for having learnt to be a more compassionate person.

Since the op, laughter’s got us through the last year (as well as alcohol and some pretty rubbish prescription drugs), more than anything else. So yes, that would be brilliant if you could vote once more for Heir Raising to get us through to the Finals and for another year of cartoons, pithy articles, bad puns and some extremely silly Stand-Up comedy! Here’s the badge link again, just pop in your name and email address, scroll down to Reader’s Choice category at the bottom and tick HEIR RAISING!


(You can vote here too – not only for me – there are some truly excellent blogs in all the categories)

Meanwhile, enjoy the wonderful weather, D certainly loves it –  a year and a day ago it took him ten minutes to walk up a flight of stairs, a year later he looked out over five counties from the top of Hambledon Hill and walked on for another two hours.

I’ve booked my ticket for BritMums Live so really hope to see you at The Brewery on 25th June for what should be an amazing day!!


Previously …


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  1. Well done the NHS surgeon who calls patients’ nearest on their mobile directly after an operation to let them know that the operation was successful.

    1. Yes, long live the NHS! I’ve heard it’s unusual for the surgeon to call themselves. Very impressed. He and his team were magnificent but the follow up care wasn’t. Due to cutbacks, cardiac rehab was limited and far away so that one would have to go private to get maximum benefits. (I know someone without a car who said he’d had to get 3 buses across city just after his op for his rehab). A year on, not ONE health visitor or medical person has yet to visit my husband. Carers’ support was worse than useless, lacking both proper training and funding – this caused many problems as I was stretched to the limit. I suggest slashing Trust Managers’ vast, unconscienable salaries and paying medics and support staff whatever they want.

  2. Thank goodness your husband is recovered and you have all got your lives back. It sounds like a horrendous few months.
    Congratulations on making the BiBs shortlist! Thanks for linking up with Loud ‘n’ Proud.

    1. Thanks Sarah. Yes we all go through our ups and downs, tho’ was going to remove post after speaking with a Mum friend this morning. Several years ago she had a toddler when her husband contracted cancer, then her twins were born at 23 weeks with potentially life changing conditions. Then her mother died. Then she developed cancer and survived chemo. All this while living abroad. I feel like such a lightweight honestly.

  3. What a tough year you’ve had Jo! I really hope you get through to the Finals this year in the BiBs Awards. Good luck!!

  4. I have some idea of what you’ve been through as we nearly lost my SIL 8 years ago due to heart issues. She’s alive today due to the amazing teams at the Horton and JR, she’ll always have problems but hopefully I’ll never have to see my brother go through a year like the one they had after that again. Good luck with the awards. Guess we must be in the same geographical area too #LoudNProud

    1. Hi Mary that sounds horrendous for you and I do empathise. Oxford based but London born 🙂 Thanks for linking up #loudnproud

  5. I’m so glad things are back on track for you and yours Jo, you’ve been missed. You’ve been through a tough year but you know, as well as I, that laughter is the best medicine. All the very best with the BIBS, m’dear. X

    1. Lovely to hear from you Tracy and out in the blogosphere its good to hear that there’s someone at least who notices when you aren’t there. Thanks for your good wishes and will let you know how I get on – some excellent blogs out there this year – you may see a few tears falling on my tweets if i don’t get through but like Arnie, I’ll be back. Take care Jo X

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