Vapor cigarettes banned in local shopping centre

This is what I found out, last night when visiting our local shopping centre, which is, or was the largest in Europe. Its Gateshead’s Metrocentre. I visited the Metrocentre to get some new cartridges for D’s vapour cigarettes. The company that sells them is VIP, and has had a stall on one on the aisles for a year now. The Metrocentre has now given VIP notice to stop selling the vapour cigarettes and the contract ends on 28th Feb 2013. They told the stallholders that they can no longer sell vapour cigarettes on the premises. This comes across as quite strange seeing as there are one or two other shops that are allowed to continue selling the vapour cigarettes, but of a different brand. This means that customers of the stall will now have to potentially travel a lot further to get the produce. A well as this, the security guards are now stopping people they see walking around the shopping centre, and telling them that they have to stop smoking the vapour cigarettes, and cannot smoke the anywhere within the shopping centre APART FROM their champagne and cocktail bar, which is a little ‘bar’ situated in the middle of one of the aisles. This bar is obviously still situated with the shopping centre and is an ‘open’ bar, as in, being in the middle of the aisle there is no roof or anything to it, and everyone shopping, walks past it. With this said, why on earth do vapour e-cigarette smokers have to be stopped when we are in the same environment and conditions as this bar. Also, there are no signs anywhere, on doors, posts, windows or anywhere to tell you, smoking vapour cigarettes is not allowed. Also, legally, it is not against the law to smoke vapour cigarettes in a public place. There is no difference between one of these vapour cigarettes and a nicotine inhaler prescribed by a doctor, apart from vapour cigarettes use a battery. I cannot see them banning prescribed nicotine inhalers so why vapour cigarettes. According to the stall holders of the VIP stand, who do actually work for VIP, all their customers are very unhappy, and some have even taken to emailing the Metrocentre itself to complain. I have to admit, I have, myself, done this and told them exactly what I thought of these actions. Another thing I cannot understand, is with regard to the purpose of a vapour e-cigarette. Why would the Metrocentre want to ban people smoking them or selling them, when this type of cigarettes gives of no harmful vapours. All that comes out is water. No harm by passive smoking. People who use this type of product, are obviously trying to give up, so decisions like the Metrocentre have apparently made, only go to make the users of this type of product more ousted and victimised than they were when smoking real cigarettes. Smokers are being treated by some as something close to lepers, so to treat (non) smokers like this because they choose to smoke a vapour cigarette is bang out of order. It will be interesting to see if I get a response to my email. I will let you know if I do.

Brink Of Bedlam. Why I like it.

I’m sitting here in the early hours of the morning, having myself cheesy Mug Shot. They are like a Pot Noodle type thing but in my opinion fractionally nicer, as long you don’t have the Thai flavoured one. That is gross. Anyway, I have to say, sitting up at this time, tends to get a bit on the chilly side when your still at the tail end of winter, and sitting in a tshirt and joggers. I would just get complained at if I even put the heating on for half an hour, as the upstairs of the house heats up very quick and would be like a sweat box in no time for D and our daughter G who are both in bed. So while I sit here, eating noodles in a watery juice, I am trying to think of a subject to write about today. One thing springs to mind is the writing style of a blog I enjoy reading. I have after a while, got back to try and catch up with one of my favourite blogs, The Brink Of Bedlam. ( ). This is not a review as such, just my opinion about Brink of Bedlam. This blog is wrote by a lovely, and very funny lady called Kay. She writes about her family life, including all the ups and downs. Even her ‘About’ page is funny. Virtually every blog post she writes makes me laugh. The way she describes things is always a breath of fresh air to me. I really wish I could communicate about whats happened to me, on my blog, the way she does on hers. I’m being honest when I say Brink of Bedlam is always top of the list when people ask what blogs I read, even if in truth I’ve missed a few months due to personal reasons.

Kay, if you do ever read this, let me know if you ever decide to start teaching online about blog writing, and I will subscribe for sure. I would love to be able to make my reader(s) laugh the way you makes me laugh. Anyway, enough of my rambling. Pop across to her blog and check it out. Its well worth a visit. Please tell her I sent you. Also, follow her on Twitter at

Bye for now, and happy reading.

Virgin Media. How they DON’T deal with customer’s issues

This blog post is out of the norm for me. Instead of telling you just about whats happened in my life, this post is going to be about something that has happened, that has really started making my blood boil. Now, I don’t normally have a go at people or organisations, or companies in the public forums like Facebook, or twitter and alike, as I prefer to deal with things privately, but today, I am going to make an exception.
On 6th Jan 2013, my Mam, passed away suddenly in hospital. This was an unexpected shock as you can imagine for us all. Now, a short while after that, after the funeral, which was on the 15th Jan 2013, I rang Virgin Media, to inform them of my Mam’s passing, and that my Dad would like to take the account over in his name, continuing everything as it was on the account. I was told my Dad would receive a phone call from the Bereavement Department within 24 hours. Well, 24 hours passed and still no phone call. When I got to my Dad’s house that day ( I live 10 miles away ), I rang Virgin Media up again only to be told that the timescale for a callback is actually 48 hours, not 24 hours which I had been quoted and that he would have to wait for the callback. Now I should point out, that my Dad is 73 years old and not great with technology or having to deal with stuff like this, as my Mam normally dealt with the bills etc. My Dad is only just getting used to speaking on the phone. It took a long time to persuade my Mam and dad to get a phone installed in the first place. Anyway, back to the original issue. After being told on the second call to Virgin Media that it is actually 48 hours for a callback, I could see my Dad getting physically stressed. Because of this, my dad told me not to ring them back, and he was sure they would ring. He kept saying this to me for the next few days, and not wanting to stress him any further, I obliged with his wish. Around 5 days later ( YES, 5 days, not 24 or 48 hours ), my Dad eventually gets a call from the Bereavement Dept, who arrange to have forms sent to him to fill in and send back to them with a copy of the Death Certificate and that everything would then be transferred to my Dad’s name with his bank details for payment, and gave the impression and reassurance that everything would be fine and straightforward. A short while later, he received the forms, and did as they asked. He filled them in and posted them back with a death certificate. This is where it jumps to yesterday 18th Feb 2013. My Dad received 2 demands from Virgin Media, for 2 bills unpaid which also included a late payment charge. My Dad was very confused why these have not been paid, but what upset him the most, was that these demand were still in my Mam’s name. I tried to pacify my Dad by saying the bills wouldn’t of been paid as my Mam’s bank account were closed pending probate. Seeing my Dad starting to get upset and stressed again, I immediately rang Virgin Media up and got through to a lovely girl in the UK. Up till now everyone I have spoke to was overseas. This girl was very apologetic and could see the notes saying we were having forms sent out but nothing to say they had received them back, even though my Dad sent them over 3 weeks ago now. She apologised several times during the call, and said she would stop the late payment charge. She then said she would sent a request back to the Bereavement Department and mark it as urgent, for them to ring my Dad back, and again quoted within 24 hours. I left it at that, hoping someone, somewhere, would get their finger out and sort this out. Today, I spoke to my dad, who informed me he received two phone calls from Virgin Media. The first was a woman, who could barely speak any english. My Dad repeated several time that he could not understand her, but she just kept going on and on. Nothing of what she said was understood by my Dad, which he told her, apart from when she asked for the password. He said, if it was his password it would of been ( password given ). She said that this was incorrect. He then told her he didn’t know his wife’s password because she is dead now. At this point the lady on the phone, carried on saying stuff that my dad could not understand. He told me, he thinks she hung up in the end, but cannot be sure. After that call, he received the second call. This time, believe it or not, it was a call to find out how the service had been and how the phone call he had just had, was dealt with. I told him, I hope he told them the service is awful. He told me he couldn’t do that, so he just told the man on the phone that the service was O.K, but he did mention to him, that when people are ringing him from Virgin Media, it’s nearly always someone he cannot understand, due to them being overseas. So as it stands, my Dad does not have any idea what the heck is going on now. He does not know if the foreign lady that rang was from the Bereavement Department or chasing payment. He half joked, that he will soon find out when his T.V and phone are cut off. I told my Dad I will ring Virgin Media, when I’m at his house in a couple of days time. I also told him , that when I do ring, I WILL be giving them hell.
I have to say that I am not one of those people that live to ring up call centres and kick off just to get credits or for the fun of it, like some people seem to do. I have only once in my life lost it on the phone with someone from a company and slammed the phone down. I prefer to remain calm and collected. I find that normally you get further that way to dealing with the problem(s) in hand. I feel this time is going to be different. I am not about to stand by and watch my Dad getting stressed and upset, when in my opinion, he is still grieving, or possibly worse, not yet started grieving due to sorting stuff out. I am not a racist, but I fail to comprehend why or how a huge company like Virgin Media, employ offshore people, to deal with such personal, upsetting, and sensitive calls and issue such as bereavement, when they, in cases like this, struggle to make themselves understood on a call to a U.K customer, due to their native language and accent. If it is a U.K company, calls like this should only be dealt with by U.K, english speaking staff. Its times like this when their customers are feeling very upset, hurt, angry, or any number of emotions and need help, guidance and support of the people they speak to on the phone, to get their query resolved, not be left confused, upset and stressed. I personally think it is despicable that things like this happen. I don’t know if its a case of training, or retraining these people, or whether, and this is more probable, that companies need to take a long, hard, look at their policies, and how the deal with certain situations, and who deals with them, and not just farm certain call queue’s and departments out to offshore, just to save money.
I honestly feel that some some companies, because of their policies and procedures, leave customers feeling like just a number, and an amount money being paid, to enhance the profits, rather than a valued customer. A customer who works hard to pays their bills, which pays wages and helps keep the company operating and not going bust. They should be treat better and looked after, in all cases, no matter how much that customer spends each month.

I WILL be posting this on various social networks, and if you agree with anything at all that I have said, or believe these things need to be changed, or like me, are disgusted with the way they are dealing with this or similar situations, please share this, amongst your contacts. Please also leave a comment. I will also be adding @virginmedia in on Twitter so they see what I have to say. I will keep you updated with this as time goes by.

Wish me luck

So tired, but so busy

I was woken up this morning by D, at the early o’clock time of 10am. The normal morning grogginess was present. I felt a lot better after my first cigarette and a nice hot cup of tea. I was feeling fine until about 11am. A whole hour after getting out of bed, when suddenly I just needed to sleep. I felt like I could just shut my eyes, and that would be it for the rest of the day. What I think it is, is the new tablets I’m taking for my back problems. As well as the painkillers that I take 4 times a day, I now have to take amitriptyline at night. These are classed as an antidepressant, but I am taking them to help me sleep. The problem is, they are seeming to have a delayed effect. I’m sleeping, or not sleeping, normally, then they are kicking in about an hour after getting up, so I then feel like I need to crash on the spot, wherever I am.
Anyway, D has got it into her mind that she wants new wallpaper, and decided to just start ripping the old wallpaper off the walls.
bare wall

She has done this to force herself to do the wallpapering instead of just leaving it for another day. Two of walls now just look like bare plaster. While D ( and later on G helped ) was doing that, I was getting stuck into a less strenuous ( on my back ) job, of sorting out a couple of years ( Yes, YEARS ) worth of letters. I spent a few hours sorting out the out of date stuff, and filing the up to date stuff, and bagging letters for shredding. By the end of this, I was well happy at how much I had sorted out. Its unreal as to how much you build up if not kept on top of. What we had been doing, is sticking stuff on chairs in the dining room. and pushing the chairs under the dining room table so that its all out of sight and out of mind. We really have to get out of this habit and keep up to date with everything. With all this paperwork under the dining room table now being sorted, This has freed the table to be used for the purpose it was meant for, and thats having meals at it. Tonight was the first time in a long, long time that we have had a meal at the table. It was lovely, sitting there chatting. Normally we would have our meals on trays in front of the t.v, and we don’t speak as we are all mesmerised with whatever programme is on the t.v at the time. The hypnotist, Paul McKenna, said in his ‘You want to be thin’ book, that when watching t.v while eating, you do not think about how much you are chewing your food. You basically become hypnotised by the t.v. Also this day and age, in my opinion, we are all losing contact with family members within the household because of things like eating in front of t.v, using iPads, and mobile phones and computers etc. We don’t talk as much as we used to. This is why I enjoyed having our meal at the table so much tonight.

Sometime over the next few days, there is still a load more paperwork to sort and shred, which is in a big bag in the bedroom. I’m not looking forward to doing that bag, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to completing it. Wish me luck.

Freezing cold

Today is the day when I have to hand out a load of money. The day my car goes in for its MOT. An MOT is a yearly safety check, with a legal requirement on all vehicles in the U.K. You need this to be able to obtain your road tax disk. The car seems to be working fine. Tyres have loads of tread, lights work, wipers and screen wash work, brakes work fine, so unless there’s something found underneath that I’m not expecting, hopefully it will pass with flying colours like last year.
I dropped the car off and headed for the train station as I thought walking right down the road for the bus, would be too cold and the station was just round the corner. I will add, it is snowing today and the temperature is zero degrees. I got to the station only to find that the trains were delayed and mine was going to arrive in 20 minutes. By the time it did arrive, and I had spent the 20 minutes chatting to a very talkative old man, my feet and my hands were like blocks of ice.
After the train arrived, I had a whole 5 minutes to try to warm up. It didn’t work. As I got off at my destination, I was still freezing, so I decided to head straight for Starbucks. I got my normal Venti Misto coffee and found a nice seat by the window, and watched the world go by while at the same time, typing up my blog. As I type this, there are two people sitting outside in the freezing cold and snow. One of them is drawing anything that takes his fancy into a small book. A woman stopped to have a cigarette and he drew her.


I’m surprised, as I’m in his line of sight, he hasn’t drawn me yet. I must not be interesting enough. I enjoy watching street artists. I saw one of his drawings and he is quite good. More like quick sketches, but still way better than I could do.

Leaving Starbucks, I walked around some of the shops in Newcastle, including the Grainger Market. The Grainger Market is the City’s largest traditional market, situated in an elegant, classically styled building in Grainger Street near Grey’s Monument. This under-cover market was the largest in Europe when first built in the 1830’s. It sells mainly meat and vegetables with a good variety of game available. There are many other stalls, each with its own particular character. Hidden within is the unique “Marks and Spencer Original Penny Bazaar”, the world’s smallest Marks and Spencer store.

048424:Grainger Market Newcastle upon Tyne City Engineers 1985

Photo from

I think most people had the same idea. Try to keep out of the snow and find shelter wherever you can. After speaking to garage, I made my way, by train again, back a couple of stops to where I needed to get off to collect my car. A short, cold, walk later, and I was there, to be told it had passed its MOT with flying colours. Not a thing wrong with it, on the points the MOT covers. It still requires a serve, as the car has not had one for a couple of years. Now, that’s bad, as its recommended you get one every 6 – 12 months. It involves filter changes, oil change, stuff like that.Hopefully I will get that done in the next few days. I may possibly have to get the oil pressure switch changed as my oil light comes on after about 15 minutes of driving, and the oil level is fine. It depends though, may just need the oil change. Hopefully that’s the case.

Once home, a made a steaming hot cup of tea and sat beside the window, where the radiator is, and watched the snow continue to fall. Theres a draft that comes from behind the kitchen units and I’m unable to get to the source so it means that every winter, there a cold blast that freezes your feet. I seems to come from behind the sink unit, round the corner, then underneath the washing machine. Sometimes it gets so bad, that even next to the radiator, it’s still not really hot. Thankfully it’s not always that bad. I do have one thing to warm me up. One of cats, Costa, has jumped up for stokes. He is keeping my lap nice and warm.

costa on lap

A long but eventful day

11 / 01 / 2013

Today did not start well. I spent the first hour ( or two ), ringing the home insurance company AND the mortgage company. You see, every year I have to inform the mortgage company that I have valid home insurance, as per the mortgage agreement. Every year, I get my home insurance company to fax the mortgage company direct with the new insurance policy to confirm I’m covered, and if I don’t, then the mortgage company place their own insurance on top of the mortgage. This happened in 2011 – 2012, and it turned out I had been paying insurance premiums to both companies. When this happens, theres an agreement between all insurance companies that they go 50/50 on the refunds due for the over payment. Its called dual cover, or something like that.Last year I got half back, but, down to what I can only describe on my behalf as pure laziness, I never claimed the second half back and ended up losing the forms. This year I decided to get my finger out and claim it back. I received new forms in the post, but to save time I asked the insurance company to fax the mortgage company direct with the forms, which they agreed. This was a week ago, and it still has not been received. That was over a week ago. This may not seem bad but, on top of this is an ongoing problem whereas this year, since the beginning of January, the insurance company has faxed the mortgage company 4 times with the insurance details to show I’m covered. The first one, I accept was the old policy so I can understand why that was not accepted but the 2nd, 3rd and 4th times, they say they never received and keep sending me letters saying that they don’t have records of my cover. But at the same time the insurance company say that they have been faxing them, and confirming the details, and that according to their fax machine, the documents were received by the mortgage companies fax machine. I’m stuck in the middle having to take time to make all these phone calls and getting more and more stressed about it, at a time, I could do without any more stress. I’m at a loss.

After all that fiasco, I went with my Dad to the bank to fill in and sign more paperwork. With that done, thankfully, from what I can tell, thats it for now. Its just a waiting game with the solicitors, with regards to letters of administration. This is like a probate type thing, but when no will is left. This could take2 possibly 3 months, depending how complicated it is. Hopefully not that long though. So for the time being, my Dad can eventually take time out to relax and start sorting the house out, when he feels up to it that is. Theres loads of stuff, as you can imagine for him to clear out. My Mam’s clothes and personal stuff that are no longer needed. I told my Dad, If he wanted me to do her wardrobes, I would. If he found it to hard. All over the house, though, there are things that nned clearing. Either thrown out, given to charity, or packed away in boxes. It is going to have to be done at some point, and I know my Dad. He does not like fuss, so I can well imagine him just not doing it and convincing himself that he is not ready to do it, no matter how long it is, and when the time eventually comes that my Dad ‘goes’, we will have the entire contents of his and my Mam’s to clear, in the two weeks the council give us to empty the house.

Tonight, was a lot less stressful. Grace went ice skating for the first time, at the temporary ice rink at Newcastle’s Centre Of Life. This ice rink comes every year at winter and is there for a couple of months before being packed away again. Now, considering it was her first ever time on ice skates, she looked really confident. She obviously had to hold onto the side most of the time, as she was not used to it, but compared to some of the other kids, she did not look worried or frightened at all. I was really impressed. She only fell over once when she pushed herself away too hard and ended up on her butt with a thud. I think it was more her pride that took a battering then, although she may have a sore butt tomorrow.

This is G, posing for the camera. D and myself we really proud of her.

First time ice skating. Taken at Newcastle's Centre of Life. 11/01/2013
First time ice skating. Taken at Newcastle’s Centre of Life. 11/01/2013

A Sunday helping out

This afternoon, I took John to the CIU club where I have been a member since I was old enough, My brother, JJ, as well, since he was old enough. My Dad and his Dad ( my Grandad ) were also members. My Grandad was one of the founder members of this club many, many, years ago. The guy at the club, who does all the paperwork etc for memberships, did us a big favour and managed to get John, my brother JJ’s membership number. JJ passed away in 2011, so John getting his number has made me really happy, as its keeping that number in the family. When I told my Dad, a smile came on his face. That was lovely to see. When we find his card, I am going to see if my Grandad’s number is still free. If so, I am going to ask if I can have it.

Once we got my Dad back home, we set up his new light that we bought from Ikea. He said that he liked it. John also gave me a hand to get the main room light shade down to give it a good clean. Its a big spherical, glass ball, which was really dirty from normal household dust, but also smoke from where my Mam used to smoke under it. After cleaning it, I noticed it actually had a pattern on it that I had never seen before. It’s quite a nice shade once cleaned, and also gives off more light as well.

Once home, I had my Sunday lunch which consisted of pork, with loads of crackling. For anyone who does not know what crackling is, it is the rind or skin off pork, but once cooked, it goes crispy and tastes devine. With that was the normal veg, and mash, and home made gravy which had peppercorn in it, resulting in a tangling at the back of my throat from the pepper.

After that, me and my two friends Marc ( ) and Carl ( ), went on a Google+ hangout and helped Carl move his blog from to a server based blog. He looked a happy as a pig in mud, but at the same time funny, watching his face contort with concentration. I’m looking forward to seeing how his blog develops over time. Also, I managed to get an RSS / Atom reader for my favourite blogs, set up on my blog, which acts a bit like a blog roll in the side bar. I’m please with the way it looks at the moment as I have been after something like that for a while now.

A nice day

09 /02 / 2013

Saturday is here. One of the days I have been looking forward to. The reason being, simply, because D is off work ( although a bit hungover ). She doesn’t know it, and will more than likely tell me off for saying this on here rather than to her face, but just the fact of her being close by, is an enormous help and relief to me. She doesn’t have to do anything to help me, just being there is a big help in itself. I know that if I did need help, or even just someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, she will always be there. She even said to wake her, if I ever needed to talk, even if it silly o’clock in the morning. I could not do that to her, but its a nice gesture.
Today, we went to Ikea to get my Dad a new lamp for his living room. He has been complaining for the last month that the main lamp in his living room is rubbish as it has an energy saving bulb in it. I will get John to change that tomorrow hopefully as the ceilings are very hight and I don’t want my Dad trying to go up step ladders and having a fall. My Dad has for ages now used the main room light for everything. He has not had a smaller lamp for years. Hopefully he will like this one as it is bright and has a second flexible lamp on the side he can bend to point down when he is reading his papers. He needs a bright lamp as his eyesight is not what it was.
We also bought a couple of new things for the house. Nothing major. Just a new glass lid for our wok and a new loo brush. Ours fell to bits. Oh, I nearly forgot. We bought a lovely new bath mat to go beside the bath. The cats will love it as they always sleep on the mat due to the underfloor heating. Its very soft and fluffy when you stand on it. Much nicer than the old, one which was well past its best.
After tea, I had a nice soothing bath, as I have had pains in my back, shoulder, neck and down my right arm today. You cannot beat a nice hot bath when your not in a rush. Its lovely just to lie there and soak. Mind you, it’s a bit hard to relax when you have a cat that balances on the edge of the bath, nearly to the point of toppling in, just to drink your bath water. You just know, if he did fall in, there would be claws flying in a mad panic. Not a nice thought.

Tonight, I has a chat with my good friend Carl. It was nice to catch up with him. It seems a while since we last had a good chat. He was telling me he is very excited about his new blog and website. I don’t have details for the website yet, but the blog can be found at Its a really good, personal blog, where he tells us about his day to day life and the ups and downs. Well worth a visit. Please subscribe or follow him if you can. Carl is a very nice guy. Some would say, salt of the earth. Carl does not have a bad bone in his body, and will do anything to help if he can. Please pop by and say hi to him. He is relatively new to blogging, like myself, so any support would be gratefully received.

Well I’m off to bed now as I need my beauty sleep. Its hard work being this good looking ( Not! )

Take care everyone

Sorted with the solicitors, and Run Geordie Run

This morning, I arrived at my Dad’s house with half an hour to spare until we had to go to the solicitors, only to be going through the paperwork, making sure we had everything we needed, and finding out the time for the solicitors was at 14.00, not 11.30. I was not expecting that. Another 2 and a half hours to waste. We were all set to got to that appointment. We decided to go to Boots to get my prescription put in for my pain killers then go for a coffee, or two. After filling in time at Costa coffee, we walked along to the solicitors. This solicitor was as you would expect a solicitor to look. Very professional and authoritarian looking, but at the same time was very down to earth and telling us about his experiences with our local hospital. After the initial chit chat, icebreaking talk, we got down to business and handed over all paperwork we could find, to be informed that the process could take 8 – 12 weeks to complete. This is the irritating part of the process, all the waiting. As anyone who has been in this situation will tell you, you just want everything to be over so you can get on with your life, and get some form of normality back to it. Both me and my Dad are both looking forward to that.
My Dad, dropped a comment into the conversation whilst at the solicitors, after the solicitor advised making a will. He did state we didm;t have to do it through themselves, so he obviously wasn’t looking for business, just offering advice. My dad took me by surprise and said that he wasn’t going to be around much longer himself. I was a bit taken aback by this as it showed a bit about what he was thinking. Like I’ve said previously, he does not give much away about how he is feeling or what he is thinking. Whether thats due to his upbringing or that he doesn’t want me to worry, or a bit of both. He also mentioned about the trials he is soon to start at the Sir Bobby Robson Wing of The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. He said that the chances of the trials helping him are 1 in 20. Not the best odds, I’m sure you will agree, but its better than zero chance. Plus, the fact, that he is helping to find a cure for cancer. Sir Bobby Robson used to positively say “when’ not ‘if’ we beat cancer” ( Quote from Run Geordie Run / Mark Allison’s blog )

On that subject, Please support Mark Allison’s quest to raise money for the The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation . Please check out, and and on Twitter @rungeordierun. Please drop him a line and show his some support. He replies to his tweets. He is doing an amazing job raising a lot of money for a great cause, which for obvious reasons, is close to my heart.
Not only is my Dad going to be attending the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in the Sir Bobby Robson Wing, my brother was also on that wing as well, when he was critically ill, Not in the Trials Research Centre, but on that wing of the hospital.
He got moved from there to St. Oswalds Hospice in Gosforth, where he later died in 2011. My Brother, James, suffered from kidney failure and blindness, as well as other multiple problems, most of which stemmed from diabetes.

Mark is running across Australia from Perth to Sydney on October 16th 2013 arriving on Bondi Beach on December 24th 2013.

All funds raised for the run across Australia are split between The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation (Charity No. 1057213) and The Children’s Foundation (Charity No. 1000013) who do wonderful work with children in the region where he lives.

Why does it feel like I have not grieved?

Today has been a bit of a sad day, but I’ve tried to put on a brave face and not let it get to me. The reason is that today is a whole month, to the day, that my Mam passed away suddenly. I cannot believe its a month. It still seems like yesterday. I can still feel how I felt at her hospital bedside, before and after she went. I can still remember how I felt getting the phone calls in the early hours, saying she had deteriorated, and how I felt when I got the call to say she had gone. I can still remember how I felt on the day of her funeral. The problem is, despite being able to remember all that, I cannot understand why, I have not been able to grieve. Yes a had a few, alcohol induced tears after the wake, but apart from that, I have not, in my mind, been able to grieve. Grieving is a very grey area. Everyone has different ways to do it. Personally I do not know what to do. I do not know how to tell if I’m grieving. For all I know, I may have grieved and not noticed. I have not shed as many tears as I thought I would. All this plays on my mind. It makes me feel guilty. I have since, my Mam passed away, been focusing all my energy into making sure my Dad is ok, and helping him as much as possible sort things out, which he has told his friends he couldn’t of done without me. What do I do? What happens? When does it happen? I don’t know. I don’t know if I should expect some sort of emotional breakdown at a later time. I suppose time will tell.
Please feel free to leave comments, with advice or about your own experiences.