17-May-2015 Expletive Deleted

Last week we wrote about our difficult decision to cancel existing gigs. This week we had a decision taken away from us, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

We’ve been told numerous times (and we agree) that positive thinking and outlook are beneficial when faced with difficulties… We’ve shed a few tears (hardly surprising), but we’re getting on with stuff as best as we can, and we’re keeping busy… sometimes it makes us wonder how we managed to find time to perform two or three times a week!

Back in March (is that only two months ago? Seems like years!) we booked a short holiday in America – the plan being to go back for our third visit to the Taylor Guitars factory in El Cajon, sunny California. We’d found an amazing 5-star luxury Victorian Bed and Breakfast to stay at quite close at hand (only four guest rooms, but a stunning place slightly off the beaten track) and were looking forward to just hanging out, lazing around – and in – the pool, soaking up the environment and sun with the occasional drive to places of interest and places that hold special memories for us. Idyllic!

We’d hmm’d and hah’d about whether or not we should cancel, but made our mind up to just do it – too good to miss. But no, it was not to be. Travel insurance was impossible, reputable and specialist companies not even willing or able to give us a quote. It seems that in spite of medical professionals advising us to go for it and have that dream holiday, we don’t even have choice. Well, as you can imagine, the brave and smiling faces crumpled somewhat… once off the phone Jimmy swore quite a bit (oh yes, he has been known to use the occasional expletive), wanted to punch a hole in a wall, throw something, shout and scream – but that would have been a massive amount of negative energy. So, although very disappointed, we’ve just had to put it behind us and move on.


So there was no alternative but to cancel and request refunds. The B & B shouldn’t be a problem as they have a generous cancellation policy, but lastminute.com (flights and car hire) is proving a bit more difficult. Unless insurance is taken out at the time of booking, refunds are not possible except in extreme circumstances… how much more extreme do they need us to be??? Val has been speaking with a representative called Bernadette who was obviously taken aback by our reason for needing to cancel, and she is proving very helpful – let’s hope there is a way for us to convey our thanks to her supervisor so that she can be recognised for excellent customer service.

But, you know, it hasn’t all been bad – we’ve had the pleasure of visiting Mike and Hazel for wine and cheese and assorted snacks… a lovely evening, many thanks for the invite. And Hazel does make exceedingly good ginger wine (Jimmy’s preferred tipple as he’s off the alcohol right now). Steve and Carol (Fool’s Gold) popped in for a coffee as they were in the area on Friday, we had a good natter, a laugh or two and generally put the world of acoustic music to rights (again). And on Saturday evening we headed off to Seaton Delaval Arts Centre to see “A Parcel For Mr Smith” – a one-hander single act play from the Cloud Nine Theatre Company… Dylan Mortimer was very good, but the dummy stole the show when it teetered and fell over (completely unplanned) at the end!

And to cap it all, Val’s new tee-shirts arrived from America. Lovely designs with gorgeous cats on them.

Life is good, *&^%$ annoying sometimes, but definitely %&*#@ good…

Health update:

We’re now officially on the local district nursing services register – they’ll pop in occasionally to check how we’re doing and will always be available at the end of the phone line to answer questions and try and resolve any issues we might have.

We have an appointment to see a specialist oncologist at Wansbeck hospital on Thursday 21 May about possible therapy options, immediately followed by Jimmy having another CT scan to take a closer look at his insides.

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