And we got nothing to be guilty of...

Chris and I have just had a jam packed week. No rest for the wicked as they say…which explains a lot ;)

We had some new flooring laid in the dining room on Wednesday. We have lived in this house 12 years and have put up with getting splinters from the very weak wooden floor boards all that time. But with baby Zak’s arrival into the world we couldn’t risk him getting splinters, even though our own children sustained many in the last 12 years. ;)

I stayed home to make teas for the men laying the floor. I didn’t want to get in their way so for lunch I quickly made myself some Marmite on toast.

It wasn’t until that evening when I looked in the mirror to brush my teeth that I realised I had spilt a large globule of said Marmite down my chin…I’d gone shopping in the afternoon, after the floor men left, with that on my chin like a huge tear shaped beauty spot. So for anyone thinking oh Suzanne always looks great, she doesn’t, I promise you! Hahahahaha

We had some fun times ahead so we headed down to Marlow in Buckinghamshire on Thursday night ready for our annual day at Henley Regatta, client entertaining on Friday.

Henley Regatta is a British institution, it’s very posh, a really posh rowing competition extravaganza. Don’t ask me what we’re doing there…suffice to say they let anyone in these days! Hahahahaha

We (I say we as in the royal we, but Chris arranges events to take clients out and he really likes to focus on things that people would love to go to but have never been to. Henley Regatta being one of them). I’m really very blessed because on occasion I get to get all dolled up and go along too!

We arrived at our hotel to find we’d been upgraded, always a pleasure. Our room was spectacular, the scenery from our window was absolutely stunning…and then it gets a bit weird…then you walk through the bathroom, past the loo and the bath to get to the huge balcony. It was a bit weird but in a quirky wonderful way.

Anyway we tried to get a table in the restaurant but it was fully booked so we ordered room service and had it served on the balcony…I made them pass my food out of the bedroom window rather than walking through the bathroom with it. Chris thinks I’m a weirdo but I couldn’t eat it if it had gone through there. Hahahahaha

Out past the loo to the balcony…

Out past the loo to the balcony…

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The restaurant being full turned out to be a huge blessing, look at that view!

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Top from Jack Wills, Skirt…that was a dress from Athena Procopiou, Shoes from Louis Vuitton    It’s long winded story, but I bought this “dress” in the sale when I couldn’t bring myself to keep the other dress from this manufacturer (story of that to follow). Anyway this label only makes clothes for the very thin…I am not one.  My boobs were oozing out at every angle, so I took it to my dressmaker and said can you make this fit me and she looked me up and down as I stood before her in it and said “NO! You bought the wrong size!”  hahahahaha hahahahaha I bought the biggest size they make!! Which is a 3 or UK size 12 (USA 8).  All was not lost as my wonderfully clever dressmaker turned it into a skirt for me and now it fits to perfection! :)

Top from Jack Wills, Skirt…that was a dress from Athena Procopiou, Shoes from Louis Vuitton

It’s long winded story, but I bought this “dress” in the sale when I couldn’t bring myself to keep the other dress from this manufacturer (story of that to follow). Anyway this label only makes clothes for the very thin…I am not one.

My boobs were oozing out at every angle, so I took it to my dressmaker and said can you make this fit me and she looked me up and down as I stood before her in it and said “NO! You bought the wrong size!”

hahahahaha hahahahaha I bought the biggest size they make!! Which is a 3 or UK size 12 (USA 8).

All was not lost as my wonderfully clever dressmaker turned it into a skirt for me and now it fits to perfection! :)

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The grounds at Dainsford House Hotel are incredible. The views over the sleepy countryside part of the river Thames are enough to make you weep with joy. We made the most of the grounds by going for walks after dinner and after breakfast, much to Chris’s disgust.

And then the big day arrives, I love going to Henley Regatta, we’re in hospitality which I find makes everything a more pleasant experience. :)

I love, absolutely LOVE my dress for Henley this year. It has quite a long winded story behind it, (yes another one) but here goes, last year I saw this dress on a rather spectacular looking woman at a wedding I was attending, she was super tall, very thin, sophisticated and stylish…so basically everything I’m not. She had this dress on and I thought it was stunning, it moves so beautifully in the breeze. I loved everything about it, and her come to that, I was having a bit of a girl crush I think. Hahahahaha

Anyway, I went up to her and asked her where the dress was from, she said the name, I’d not heard of it before and couldn’t retain the information given, so it was Chris that finally found it, after some extensive internet searching.

I ordered it the next day, and when it arrived I tried it on with great excitement. It of course didn’t look anything like as good on me as it did on wedding guest lady. But it was beautiful none the less. The only problem was it was £650….Ooooouch!!

Chris said to keep it but I just couldn’t, not at £650. I wouldn’t think twice about spending double that on a bag or shoes, but a dress felt too extravagant.

So with a heavy heart I sent it back. You can almost feel my sad face at this point.

Well, skip forward almost a year and what should pop up as an ad on Facebook but THE dress…in the sale!!

So for less than half price I finally own my dream dress!! Note the happy, happy face now!!

Dress from Athena Procopoiu, Bag, from TK (TJ) Maxx, Shoes from Jimmy Choo

Dress from Athena Procopoiu, Bag, from TK (TJ) Maxx, Shoes from Jimmy Choo

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We had such a great day at Henley, I’m really lucky to get to go to all these amazing places through Chris’s work, and I get to meet lovely people, many of whom become good friends too.

Now, I do appreciate this dress isn’t to everyone’s taste, which is fine, as it wouldn’t do to all be the same. Indeed my dear cousin didn’t like it at all, saying and I quote “it looks like a 17th century nightdress” hahahahaha. Classic!!

We visited my cousin the following day for a bbq. Always a pleasure to see them.

I dressed very boldly in jeans, and yes, it is rather a bold choice bearing in mind my skinny jeans are a little on the overly tight side presently. The less said about that the better.

But as I was only visiting family I undid my jeans to consume copious amounts of food, including Em’s highly recommended, baked cheesecake. My good Jewish cousin is the very best cheesecake maker I know.

Then Sunday came and I was able to enjoy one of the highlights of my life!

Barbara Streisand in concert!!!!!! I love Barbara! Her Guilty album nearly wore away when I was a teenager. I’m not sure it was in fashion to love Babs at that point in time, all my friends were crushing on Spandau Ballet, Level 42…and worse still - Bros…but I’m an old fashioned girl and loved all the greats, Patsy Cline, Bette Midler and Karen Carpenter.

I really have nothing to be guilty of! Hahahahaha

Top from Ralph Lauren, Jeans - Joni’s from Topshop, Shoes and Bag from Todd’s.

Top from Ralph Lauren, Jeans - Joni’s from Topshop, Shoes and Bag from Todd’s.

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I chose to wear something a bit looser round my belly for a day out in London for the concert.  I’d pushed my luck a bit too far the day before with skinny jeans.

I chose to wear something a bit looser round my belly for a day out in London for the concert.

I’d pushed my luck a bit too far the day before with skinny jeans.

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I woke up Sunday morning and felt weird, I was having very high output in my bag and I just felt odd and gurgly. I felt physically very odd and off and I didn’t know why.

I thought I must have a mild bug or something. It was only when I arrived at Hyde Park I realised I was mid way through an anxiety attack.

When I got Ben to book the tickets for Chris and I, I was sitting in my living room at home, alone. What I had failed to consider was that there would be 65 thousand other people all wanting to see this icon too!

All was not lost, having realised what was happening I was able to attempt to talk myself down.

Mostly I told myself I was safe, it was a Barbara Streisand concert for heavens sake. I was in a safe space, we’re all adults here! Oh how wrong I was!!

Thankfully we were with friends so Chris, James and Tanya helped take my mind off things.

The demographic of a Bab’s concert is mainly 40’s plus, mostly women and to be honest I felt quite young there, it was mostly 55 plus age range.

Well as it turns out women over 50 in general should not be allowed out…or at the very least chaperoned Hahahahaha.

I hate to hate on my own kind but oh my Lord. The drunkenness to the point of being absolutely s***faced and being unable to stand unaided, plus partaking in public vomiting is really bad enough.

Some were literally unable to maintain the upright position. All very hilarious to the very sober me. :)

But brawling?! Really ladies? Hahahahaha

And not just a shouting match, no, no we saw the most nasty, vicious full on fist fight that most MMA cage fighters would be proud of…scared of probably! Hahahahaha

As entertaining as middle aged women bare knuckle fighting is it did nothing to quell my anxiety. I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor could the gathered crowd round said fight.

Seriously, these were ladies, that by day would be courteous teaching assistants, checkout workers or office administrators…but give them 4 bottles of rosé at a Barbara Streisand concert and they turn into Mike Tyson…during the ear biting years!

It took 4 security guards to carry the main participant from the area. She was only small but never underestimate the power of a drunk woman. Hahahahaha

The concert itself was amazing, Miss. Streisand did not disappoint even if she was a few fans down by the time she came on stage.

Her voice is as incredible as ever, I was in tears through most of it. I feel very lucky to have seen her (Barbara that is, not the street fighter). I do wish I’d been in the hospitality bit but when we go out by ourselves we don’t tend to do that. I doubt if the Beckhams we’re sucker punching their seat neighbours. Hahahahaha

To top off a wonderful, if not eventful evening as we were leaving the grounds of the concert I looked up to see the most huge, white arse staring at us from beside a tree in the park…yes, you read that correctly BESIDE a tree. Not hidden from view at all! But smack dab in the middle of our view…I’m not fat shaming, I’m merely telling you what was being presented to me!

To make it so much better, where this lady had decided to squat for a quick wee was spot lit, so her full moon rivalled that of the actual moon.

When she rejoined the throng of the crowd just in front of Chris and I, I could see her fully, she looked like a stereotypical middle aged librarian…it’s always the quiet ones that get their arses out for all to see as it turns out! I wouldn’t mind but I had just been to the loos myself and there was literally no queue at all, and therefore no need for public urination Hahahahaha.

While we were at our concert, our baby son was at Wireless, a rap music festival the other side of London. He saw no, none, nada bad behaviour at all.

There had been a scuffle on the Saturday but nothing while Ben was there. It drives me mad that people are critical of the young, and more so the young into rap. Try going to a Barbara Streisand gig!! They’re savages!

To summarise, I think a lot of women of a certain age need much less alcohol and more HRT…I’m more than willing to share my patches with those in need. Hahahahaha

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I’m sure a lot of you will be aware that a campaign by the wonderful Beth Purvis AKA, Bowel warrior has been taken up by The Daily Mail.

I’m so proud to be a part of it and I’m so thankful to Beth for initiating it. She’s done a marvellous job of highlighting young age bowel cancer diagnosis, which is scarily on the rise.

Only this week another in your face cancer warning campaign came out of Cancer Research.

I have no problem with highlighting that poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight is bad for you, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not a good idea for a myriad of health reasons.

But what I don’t want to see get lost in that message is that not just the fat and unfit are at risk - everyone and anyone is at risk of cancers.

I don’t mean that in a scare mongering way. But I don’t want GP’s further blinded to cancer symptoms because people don’t fit into certain criteria.

I want doctors to know, to really understand statistics and likelihood are irrelevant once someone is symptomatic.

Nine and a half years ago I was finally diagnosed after 10 years of obvious bowel cancer symptoms because I was “too young” in my GP’s eyes to be at risk of cancer. And now we’ll be adding too thin and healthy looking for cancer!?

If you have a pulse you have a risk of cancer. Simple as that. Sad as that it, it’s the truth. That’s not to say you will get cancer, it’s just pointing out there is no rhyme or reason to this rotten disease.

Be aware of the signs, know the symptoms, know your body and be vigilant.

If you suspect something isn’t quite right, push for further tests!!

I’m not being all doom and gloom. I just want people to pick up on the symptoms before I did. I was led to believe I was safe. And I really really wasn’t.

I’m incredibly lucky to still be here only by the grace of God/The Universe or what ever you choose to believe in.

I feel foolish that I let myself naively believe I was fine because my doctors told me it was nothing more than IBS and piles, when I knew I was in excruciating pain and symptomatic of something far more insidious. I should have pushed for further tests, and I didn’t. I believed what I was told and I was a fool to.

I’m incredibly lucky and incredibly grateful that I had old lady cancer in a young lady’s body. Which meant although I suffered many many years of agonising symptoms and was stage 3, when found, it was a slow grower, that had only spread to local lymph nodes.

That isn’t the same for others. The younger you get cancer the more aggressive it usually is. That’s why we have to know our bodies and insist on further checks.

Caught early the outcome is very bright.

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My son sent me a photo screen shot of the article, he said it was a very surreal experience on the train on his way to work in London that my face was peering out from other peoples mobile phones, The Daily Mail on line is well read as it transpires. :)

Also, can I just make one point and a slight correction. Like many others in the article I was told I had IBS for many years and was given pile cream and Fybogel, not laxatives.

And the 8 stone 7lbs referred to my weight prior to diagnosis…and most certainly not now, just in case you thought I was trying to pull a fast one! Hahahahaha