Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Mum issues warning after discovering daughter’s eye cancer

I had no idea it's World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week this week.

To be honest, I'm not even sure what Retinoblastoma is.

But when I was contacted about a campaign currently running by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust together with Vision Express urging parents to ensure their children have regular eye tests, I not only learnt a lot very quickly but realised the need to share the information widely.

Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a form of cancer that affects babies and children aged under six. In a poll of more than 1,000 parents, two out of three parents weren’t aware that a squint or lazy eye can be a symptom of an aggressive eye cancer in children and only 35 per cent identified a squint as one of the signs of Rb.

Eliza Thomas was three years old when she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in 2015 and she had her left eye removed to save her life.

Her mum took Eliza to the optician because she had a squint that seemed to be getting worse. But she admits that she didn’t expect there to be anything seriously wrong.

“We didn’t really think anything of it and assumed the worst thing that would happen was that she’d be given corrective glasses or a patch to wear over her eye. But when the optician examined her she saw what looked like a tumour growing in her eye and told us to take her to hospital immediately. As I rushed Eliza to A&E that evening all I could think about was that my little girl might have cancer.”

The worried family then visited three different hospitals before they finally received the diagnosis they feared most – Eliza had eye cancer. The doctors told April that it was too late to try other treatments such as chemo or laser therapy and that the only way to save Eliza was to remove her eye.

The operation went well and tests showed that the cancer hadn’t spread. Eliza didn’t need any further treatment, but she would need regular check-ups. A few weeks later Eliza was fitted with a temporary artificial eye, in order for here to get used to it before having a more permanent one made for her.

Three years on, Eliza is doing very well and fully embracing her ‘magic eye’. She still has to undergo regular check-ups every 6 months, where specialist eye doctors monitor her progress and her vision.


Saturday, 12 May 2018


What do you get when you cross a Scottish stand-up comedian with England’s first ever 'Doctor of Happiness?'

A new book that will have you laughing out loud whilst learning some serious science behind positive psychology, the value of inside-out thinking as well as practical tips for those in need of an energy transfusion. that's what!

Sounds like me. Sounds like a great many of us, in fact!

And if it sounds like you, too, then this book will not disappoint. Because no-one (surely?) is beyond hope.

If you want help...

  • bouncing back from criticism,
  • rethinking your (negative) thinking, 
  • creating an extra hour in the day,

Or even if you just want someone to do some worrying for you, this is the book for you.

Billed as 'the antidote to modernity' it's perfect for those of us who feel like we're endlessly turning in the hamster wheel of life - working hard, and getting nowhere fast.

The book is part practical 'self-help' and 'how to' guide, part comedy. It's a winning combination (even though the relentlessly upbeat tone, fractured sentences and pithy Pollyanna-isms can get a teeny bit tiresome... but maybe that's just jaded ol' me).

But the basic premise is a real winner: 2% of us are Mary Poppins, the rest are Mr Banks.

But we need the Mary Poppins of this world to keep it turning, to keep us smiling, to make life worth living.

So join them. Be a Mary rather than a Mr Banks.

Or in other words (word) -


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Are you sitting comfortably?

Enjoying the weather? Wonderful, isn't it! Perfect for picnics, visits to the park, days on the beach and all manner of things that usually involve carting huge and heavy bits of kit from one place to another.

I mean, you can get away with just a beach towel or a picnic blanket.

But a deck chair is better.

And this - the TRONO® (Your Perfect Chair, Everywhere) - is better still.

I mean, this doesn't look very difficult to carry, does it?

But it looks a lot more comfortable once you get there!

And this is how you get from (a) to (b) - just to show there's no hidden extra equipment or exertion involved.

The Trono inflatable chair has been around for a while but there's a Kickstarter campaign currently running to develop and produce a children's version. Having found that children like the chair every bit as much as adults (and why not?) the Dutch company (they're based in Amsterdam) decided to develop a junior version. The campaign has just nine days left to run and although they've already exceeded their target, there's time for you to lend your support AND be the first to receive what you'll probably find to be the best summer time investment ever!

Don't just take my word for it...

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Here is the news...


Labour in TURMOIL after winning more votes than anyone else in local council elections;

Bride-to-be says DAD will walk her down the aisle at wedding;

President Trump pays someone to say nothing about something he says never happened.

And now, the weather...

Friday, 4 May 2018

Bird Day 2018

Did you know today is bird day? No, me neither.

In fact, today is only one of several 'bird days' that all fall at different times of the year in different places.

But today's day - May 4th - is the original. It was established as such by school superintendent Charles Almanzo Babcock in the rather bird-unfriendly sounding Oil City, Pennsylvania, in 1894.

So there!

Here's a picture of a dotterel...

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