Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Algy's Demise. Bloody hell! 1/4 of The Year Gone!

Ok, first up. Many apologies for wasting 3 months of 2014 before blogging again! And a highly belated Happy New Year!

So after a winter of storms, flooding and depression, one has survived and hopefully getting her mojo back!


With the lovely Gary Carr after 'The Pass' at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloan Squre.
Have been getting a bit 'Activist' this year which started out heading up to London in February for two events, one to see a colleague of Ben Miller and Danny John-Jules, Gary Carr (above), who stars as 'Fidel Best' in 'Death in Paradise' plus also in the last series of 'Downton Abbey' as jazz singer Jack Ross. Gary was in a play with Russel Tovey called 'The Pass' about two footballers, one who went on to great things and the other who settled into private life and a solid relationship. It was a fab play, quite close to the knuckle with an honest look at same gender relationships and assumptions.

I also went up to lend support to those who have fought to keep Lewisham Hospital open via the Hational Health Action Party who are trying to prevent the destruction of the NHS.

Protesting outside Parliament 

It was interesting as they had held a rally outside Parliament and then we were invited in for a discussion with the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham MP, about the time Angela Merkels was in the building as well!

With Andy Burnham MP in a committee room in Parliament!
Next on to Leicester. As most of the planet knows, I am a *huge* fan of actor, comedian, writer, producer and director Ben Miller, and managed to stalk... I mean meet him on a couple of occasions this year. First at a SciFi event,  then 2 weekends ago in London with other fans before seeing him (again for me) in Dan Patterson and Colin Swash's fab play 'the Duck House' that has now completed it's run, and has been nominated for an Olivier Award for best new comedy play.

With ben and yes, that is Detective Inspector Richard Poole's actual Briefcase! I won that and
the rest of Richard Poole's costume as used by Ben in a Radio Times competition. Great keepsake :D
And also got he and Danny John-Jules, his co star in Death in Paradise (which Ben, very sadly has left! *sniffles* ) to wear bandanas for brain tumours this year!

Top Pic L - R  Margo Milne (in front), Melli Tyler, Stephanie Wunder, Ben Miller Sabine Wunder-Reppingen, Monica Mascuillo, Me, Gilly Henwood. Bottom Pic - the Cool cat himself, Danny John-Jules!

But I digress! Also a very dear friend took me to Rome for 4 days and we had a fabulous time there, visiting the Colosseum and the Vatican/St Peter's Basilica. I even made it up to the top of the dome of St Peter's as well since it was a beautiful sunny day, and the view across Rome was spectacular!

My B&W take on the Colosseum. Spectacular place!

My dear friend Debbie Carter who not only took me to Rome but slogged her guts out pushing me around the Vatican Museum in a wheelchair! Here we're scoffing beautiful creamy Italian ice cream aka 'Gelato' :)~

The dome of St Peter's Basilica from the inside of the chapel.

The climb to the top of the Dome damned near killed me, but it was worth it for this view :D

But for all this, Algy, as fried as he is, still managed to put in the boot. By day 3 of our trip I began to get disorientated and tired. When we got back to the UK, I stayed with my friend in Chichester and scared her half to death when we had to go across a rail crossing. I was wandering straight in to traffic and didn't think about it as I lost sight of the pavement. I heard my friend scream and looked round thinking she was stuck and a train was coming. But it wasn't that. it was I had completely become unaware of the danger I was putting myself in. And also fatigue has reared it's ugly head in the last week, so I have to *make* myself shift and get on with things.

My memory has become a little worse too. I am constantly losing things and on the worst days forgetting events etc This could be a long term side effect of radio therapy, but also I am pottering about with the menopause which does not help. Also nearly keeled over in Penzance yesterday when everything went a bit strange to say the least, so am staying in today.

Other news:

The charity 'Hammer Out' re-branded and relaunched yesterday and are now known as 'Brain Tmour Support' so will need to update info on that. It's good to see the charity develop and they can now be found at 

Lastly there has been some sadness at Nicholson Towers, apart from the winter depressions Dave and I both suffer from, and that is our older cat Danny had to be humanely put to sleep due to suddenly going in to a massive seizure that never truly resolved. He had been getting quite frail over something similar that had happened back in 2010 but had settled after a while. Certainly Danny did get a lot of seizures in his sleep but in his waking life coped ok but for the odd occasion he would lose the use of his back legs or his balance now and then. Of course we all know what that can be a symptom off and I am pretty sure Danny had developed the same. His quality of life was good though, so Dave and I did our best to make his remaining years comfortable. Dave especially is upset as he and Danny were very close indeed, especially in the last year, when Danny would cuddle up to Dave, the two being 'lads' together.

2014 outlook.
I'm heading up to London to give support to the Brain Tumour Charity on April 8th, with a cross party committee meeting in Parliament, about funding. I haven't had final confirmation yet but I know a seat is booked.

Then will be heading to Gloucester hoping to attend a college reunion (sans ice-pick! Death in Paradise fans will understand my meaning!), head up to Wales to see my family, and help try to break a world record in Penzance. And that's just May!

Of course, I am broke again after enjoying myself too much and that's not going to stop either. Had a fab time as said before with seeing Ben twice this year already and will do so again on June 4th.  He and his comedy partner Alexander Armstrong will be on stage at The Royal Albert Hall for a benefit concert 'Symfunny' in aid of Parkinsons UK.  I did possess many moons ago a Parkinson's Disease Specialist Nurse qualification, with studying for the module as part of my clinical education. I saw more elderly affected but can remember some very sad examples of a more aggressive type which tended to hit those of younger age, and of course this can be fatal. This event is the brainchild of music producer, composer and conductor James Morgan.

From the Website page, Morgan's bio is "He was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's at the age of 42. He and his partner and fellow producer Juliette Pochin immediately saw the importance of using their musical connections to highlight the impact of Parkinson's and to show that it is possible to continue to work and live life to the full after diagnosis, as James continues to do."

So if you want to attend this, get and book now as tickets are going fast. The web address is

Also I have just squandered £33.50 on a ticket to go and see the Monty Python team on their very last performance together (so it is said) on the 20th July at the O2 in London. Just hope to goodness that's not the St Buryan Show weekend!

In September I should be heading up to The Royal Marsen for an MRI to see if Algy is behaving himself, so *fingers crossed* on that one!

*Finally* I got started on my planned tome 'Adventures with Algy' by making a start on my own story which as it turns out, is harder than I thought. I have also decided to treat this like a Job, with set hours and times to have a good write. I'm going to write for 30 mins every other day. It doesn't sound much, but with a timer to work to I'm getting more on paper and it helps organise my thoughts and suits my concentration levels as well. My concentration and memory span has decreased quite a bit and I have to be careful not to stretch myself too much, or if I do, then plan when to do it and expect fallout afterwards. The three events above were close together and I'm getting fall out now, but they were so worth doing :) After all, Algy or not, I still want to have a life.

So that's about it for now. Comments as always are welcome.


  1. Ben Miller has left Death in Paradise? Oh, no! I loved the series and him in it. It won't be the same without him :(

    Your trip sounds wonderful. Take care of yourself.

  2. Thank you. Yes, sadly Ben left as he wanted to be closer to his family. Being away for virtually 6 months from his family, including a child under 2 years old was too much, so he made the very difficult decision to leave. Actor Kris Marshall (Love Actually) has taken over the role as lead detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman, who is the opposite to Richard.

    I'm ok. Still getting to grips after a difficult winter but I'm getting there. Certainly Rome and gettign involved with some political bits has helped me to start making more use of my time :)

    Heather x


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