Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Dad - part 1

My father passed away on 25 January 2018. He was 87. His funeral service is on YouTube https://youtu.be/flQYFqhYD2g

It brings to end a period of over 5 years where I have been a carer for either of my parents. I'm exhausted. No-one asks if you will be their carer, the responsibility is just assumed. Despite not necessarily wanting to be a carer, I did my best.

In March 2014, just 4 months after my mum died of lung cancer, my father was diagnosed with bowel cancer. This was the start of a tough and challenging time for me. He had to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy (thankfully as an in-patient) for 6 weeks, following this he had major surgery to remove the tumours and create an ileostomy.

His surgery didn't got that well, they couldn't close the wound and had to pack him because he bled heavily, he required 7 units of blood. They had to place him in ICU, pack the wound and return him to theatre the next day to complete his surgery. He was in hospital for 3 weeks, followed by 3 weeks in a nursing home step-down bed before he was discharged home.

He managed his ileostomy very well and quickly regained his independence and back to driving his car.

In Nov 2016 he needed a blood transfusion because a routine blood picture revealed a low haemoglobin count. This was to become the start of regular transfusions.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Fed up

I always vote. I rarely feel that it achieves anything. The same old faces are elected time and again. They never deliver anything except a mountain of rhetoric. Politics has become completely distant from the electors. Greed and contempt is how most politicians are viewed by the ever increasing numbers of non-voters.

When they want your support they claim the other side are trying to rob your identify or culture. They politicise everything from marriage equality to the Irish language.

I loathe politicians. From luny left to the far right zealots. One thing they have in common is their contempt for those who put them there.


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Hosting John

I've just completed my 9th Host stay organised by Host UK. The student who stayed with me was from New Zealand and I've hopefully encouraged him to register to vote and to use it in the EU referendum in June. 

I really enjoyed this visit, John has a strong interest in politics and world affairs so he appreciated visiting various parts of Belfast and seeing some of our famous landmarks along the North Coast.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Remembering Srebrenica - 8,372 murdered on 11 July 1995

I Pledge to…

Remember those who were brutally murdered in the genocide of Srebrenica in 1995.

Remember those who were left behind to grieve their loss, and who rebuilt their lives with courage and dignity.

Remember the women and girls who were brutally raped as a weapon of ethnic cleansing.

Speak out against the language of hate, which if allowed to go unchecked, can lead to the dehumanisation of others.

Make sure my voice will always stand for justice, and will speak out against injustice wherever I find it.

Call upon and support my government in establishing justice and reconciliation as part of our responsibility within the international community.

Work with others to establish a community that works for the common good of all, and is free from hatred and discrimination.

Sunday, 3 May 2015


Recently I been fortunate to host two international students. One from India and one from Bosnia. It's been a total joy. Both have been incredibly sweet and fun in their different ways. 

Host UK the organization which arranges the visits was established to help improve the student experience, to provide the opportunity to stay in different parts of the UK and to learn more about the cultural differences in the host country.

Hosts are from various backgrounds and commit to one visit but most do many more.

I've hosted students from the following countries:

China (3)
USA (2)
India (1)
Germany (1)
Bosnia (1)

For more information about hosting http://www.hostuk.org/hosts/

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Port Douglas - 6 July 2003

Kenya - 5 July 2000