MilnersBlog What No Blogs

I’ve finally stepped back into MilnersBlog after over 4 months of not posting absolutely anything at all on the blog, at first I couldn’t seem to think why not, but last night I finally realised why I hadn’t, you see my last post was the colourful Leeds Carnival, and not long after I posted that ❤Wifey and I set off on our first solo vacation without the girlie’s in over 20 years, this was to one of our friends stunning Villa in Southern Spain in the ‘Tapas’ province of Murcia. Whilst there we had such an amazing time, dining and relaxing in a place where we hardly came into contact with anyone other than the heart-warming friendly Spanish locals, the area was also ‘Spain’s Greenhouse’ and the fresh produce we bought from the local markets was the best I’ve ever seen and tasted, none of this EU ‘perfect vacuum packed’ crap you got back home. I even made my signature dish… Spanish Paella using local seafood and ingredients whilst there… Wifey said it was the best one I’ve ever cooked. I even took lots of photography out there, some of which I was so proud of and couldn’t wait to share them on my return, especially a lightning storm over the bay as we took shelter with the locals in the beach shack bar. We returned fully rejuvenated from the stresses of family and work life and was so looking forward to the coming autumn…

Now for the ‘Why no Blogs’… we arrived back on the Friday and quickly got into the usual unpacking and relentless washing, as well as seeing the lovely Girlies and our Happy (excited) Dog. Sunday quickly came round and also a visit from my lovely Mum, who dropped a bombshell which rocked me to the core, you see, whilst I was away she had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she hadn’t even finished talking before the tears where rolling down my face, I felt like god had given me this most amazing holiday with one hand and was trying to take something eternally precious to me away with the other hand… I felt cheated.

The few weeks later I met her with my Dad for the her first meeting with Surgeon, but due to traffic and parking I arrived slightly late to witness them both looking so utterly shell-shocked, I went cold with fear, I thought had they already seen him and got some horrendous news, but thankfully not, instead some foreign driver had driven into their car on the way to the hospital trying to get out-of-the-way from of a speeding ambulance, of all the days to have a car accident, thankfully they were able to carry on their journey to the breast clinic. First thing I said was “cars can be always be repaired and replaced” …unlike my mum. But the surgeon that day was so confident that my mum was repairable.

The day of the surgery soon came, and it was a day that I’ve never seen her so terrified of the unknown, and the what if’s! …I’m glad I was there for them both that morning, because soon after we kissed her goodbye, before she was wheeled away to theatre, my dad who is normally a strong and proud ‘Yorkshire’ man, broke down that early morning in way I don’t even mum had ever seen, he was so worried that something would go wrong or they would find something else, I’m not sure how long it took for him to let go of my hand which was now turning purple, but when he did, we sat there for a few hours talking about his love of pigeons, it was my ❤Wifey’s tip to take his mind off the moment, and it did thankfully. A few hours later the back-up troops arrived before mum returned from theatre…my two sisters.

When she returned, the Surgeon was confident that it all went well, and everything (the cancer) was safely removed (or Betty as we now called now it) …we all breathed a sigh of relieve and later that day made our way home in the torrential rain.

One of my lasting memories of that day at the hospital was the ‘all female’ surgical team, from the porter to the nurse, anaesthetist, surgeon and after care, which for me was an amazing touch by the Leeds NHS Breast Cancer unit to make their patients feel relaxed.

The drama of that day wasn’t going to end there, you see MilnersBlog was a finalist for the Best City and Neighbourhood Blog in the North of England at the BlogNorth awards in Manchester that night, I ‘SO’ wanted to attend the event, even though in my heart-of-hearts I had no hope of winning, but I was emotionally drained from the day and weeks earlier, instead I stayed at home with the comfort of ❤Wifey and followed the event on social media… When they announced I was the winner, my emotions started with joy and soon turned to tears, I think having a day at both ends of the emotional scale was too much for me to cope with, Wifey even tweeted my thanks on my behalf.

Four months down the line, mum has now had the all-clear, although she’s still going through radio therapy, which will last into the New Year, but her and the surgeon feel ‘Betty’ is finally Beaten.

Last week Mum finally got her Mojo back and started enjoying her passion for baking again…just in time for making her marvellous Christmas Cakes. It seems to have released me back to my passion as well …MilnersBlog.

…It’s good to be finally back.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

eaOne of the very first WordPress Photo Challenge I ever participated in was Big” so it seems quite fitting I start doing the Photo Challenges again after nearly a 4 month break with the theme GRAND”. The photo’s I’m submitting is of the Leeds Skyline on a very cold night.

I’d managed to sweet talk the security team looking after the City Island residential scheme, on the edge of the city to let me use one their apartments for some night photography. Amazingly he gave me the keys to the empty Penthouse suite ‘Room 102’ on the 19th floor, not ideal for those afraid of heights like me, but I was prepared to overcome this fear in the faint hope of getting some nice shots of the city at night.

This long panorama included the Crescent Moon on the far right with a lovely glint of Earth Shine.

Had to include a B/W shot, as it makes the city lights look so sharp.

I’ve made ALL the images a Gallery Link, so you can see the detail better.

Hope you like them 🙂

The Planet Leeds

The sunset over Leeds on Sunday looked so magical when we was returning from our cold day visiting the Christmas Markets in Wetherby & Knaresborough, I quickly pulled over the car and captured this celestial skyscape, but it wasn’t until the lovely Wife said it looks like sand dunes when you looked at it upside down, but…when I did, I instantly saw something completely different …A PLANET, it was as if I’d photographed the Planet Earth whilst sitting in the International Space Station (wishful thing on my part).

Hope you like it, and watch out for more post over the coming days, even one about why I haven’t posted a blog in over 3 months.

Carl 🙂