Great Ormond Street Hospital – Friday April 29th 2016

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Last year I was introduced to a father who told me about how his daughter had spent months and months in Great Ormond Street Hospital in London being treated for a rare cancer. We were exchanging stories about our experiences with our respective children in hospital and then went on to discuss the work of Thinking of Oscar. When I mentioned the Vein Finders that we were in the process of putting into the Oxford Children’s hospital and how they would have been such a help for Oscar with his blood tests and cannulations this other dad told me how he had never heard of the technology and how his daughter had had hundreds of procedures and that the AccuVein would have made such a difference to her. [···]

Starting School – Sunday 10th April 2016

I’ve been putting off thinking about this more than fleetingly for weeks. Oscar should be starting pre-school this week. Holly would be beside herself. In her best patronising older sister tone she would have fully prepared him for his big day by now and his red and grey uniform would be lined up ready for morning. Instead it’s just the first week of the summer term and Holly is focused on her own world. [···]

Personal Challenges – Saturday February 27th 2016

David and I were talking last week about various fundraising ideas. We were discussing whether we might be able to get a couple of places on Prudential Ride London, a 100 mile bike ride… brilliantly suited to DC, who took up cycling after Oscar died and loves it as it gives him time to think about Oscar. Less so for me as I’ve not riden a  bike in about a decade. But it would be amazing to do it together and a great awareness raising opportunity for the charity. Some friends are doing the Three Peaks in aid of Thinking of Oscar later in the year and we were working out whether one of us might be able to join them in that quest. David is going to be doing his first Olympic Triathlon this summer and of course we have the Thinking of Oscar squad, all participating in the same wave of the Blenheim Palace Triathlon on Sunday 5th June 2016. Last year 49 friends and family joined David at the same event and collectively we raised more than £60,000. It was an amazing day, a fantastic atmosphere and very special despite the chilly damp weather. [···]

“Even if we’re apart I’ll always be with you” – Friday 29th January 2016

Well we survived another Christmas and New Year. We were dreading them this year more than last year as we knew how tough they would be. In the event, contrary to the year before it wasn’t as bad as expected. Not because it was any easier going through Christmas without Oscar. It wasn’t even one tiny bit easier. It was just the same as last year. But the feeling was not a new feeling. We knew what Christmas without Oscar felt like. So when it came we recognised it. As usual Holly and Barney helped too. Holly because she was so very excited and Barney, too young to even grasp present opening, but helpful just by being him. [···]

It’s not the end of the world – Tuesday January 19th 2016

This evening over dinner Holly managed to spill some food down herself. She paused for a moment… it hadn’t been an easy day. David is away for a week with work, Holly had woken me, and therefore also Barney, a couple of times in the night as she had had a bad dream. Actually she has woken me every night for the past five nights which is not normal as she is a great sleeper. Barney is teething, there’s about four teeth going to break through any day now, so the night had been pretty interrupted anyway and although I don’t have any expectations of an unbroken nights sleep and I really don’t mind being a bit tired, when I lose track of how many times I got up then I am undeniably very, very grumpy. So when Holly spilt her dinner down herself I suspect she was unsure of the reaction that she was going to get from me. [···]

Christmas Eve – Thursday December 24th 2015

Sat in a traffic jam on the M25 today gave me a chance to reflect on what is about to be our second Christmas without Oscar. People do say that Christmas is a difficult time of year for those without loved ones and I understand that more deeply now. For me that is because Christmas is all about time together with family. Both David and I share childhood memories of cosy family times at Christmas and having a sense that everything is just fine and that is a sense that he and I won’t experience again. [···]

#GivingTuesday – Tuesday December 1st 2015

Today is ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ around the world and in just 6 weeks Hannah Cole has put together and published the Thinking of Oscar Cookbook: Made With Love which will officially launch TODAY – and it’s AMAZING!

Hannah has literally spent every spare second that she has had over the last 6 weeks, chasing recipes, cooking recipes, proof reading, editing, project managing, taking photos, negotiating and more to get our book ready for tomorrow. She has of course had a band of amazing supporters around her. However she has also had to do this whilst looking after a 5 month old, gorgeous baby boy, his big sister and me! [···]

Cookbook4Oscar – Friday November 27th 2015

Thank you to all of you who contributed your favourite family recipes to our cookbook. The response that we received was overwhelming. It was simply intended to be a collection of recipes from friends, family and neighbours. To include the kinds of meals that were delivered to our doorstep in the weeks and months after Oscar died. This happened, albeit in much greater volume than we might have imagined, but we also began to receive contributions from professional chefs who had heard about the campaign and wanted to become involved. Raymond Blanc, Tom Kerridge, The Hairy Bikers, Gizzi Erskine and many more.

With just a 6 week turn around time, the books went to print on Tuesday and arrived today! We are really excited and a little bit proud about the book that we have created as a result and can’t wait to share it with all of you.  Due to the generosity of our friend Kate and her business partner Cat who edited the book, their friend and business contact Lauren who designed it and Paul the printer, it’s also an extremely professional and beautiful book. [···]

Reality Check – Tuesday October 20th 2015

I stopped by Oscar’s Grave today. It’s not something we do daily or even every single week because it doesn’t get any less devastating to be there but every now and then we feel compelled to come here so here I am. I was struck by this plant which is in a planter that we had left there. We don’t replenish it often enough but here in the cloudy grey morning light in the graveyard sits this bright blue and yellow plant. [···]

Sunny Lives, Rainy Days – Sunday October 11th

It has been a while since I put pen to paper. Often times, now that some of what I write ends up on the Thinking of Oscar website, I hesitate writing down how I am feeling because there is nothing new. What am I meant to say when someone asks me how I am? I got caught out the other Friday by the guy at the petrol station who asked me if I was all finished now for the weekend and I looked at him completely blankly. Then I realised that David and I don’t really differentiate between a week day and the weekend in the same way that holidays are no longer special days either. A day is just a day. We start it, live it and finish it. [···]

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