Friday, January 17, 2020

Nothing to worry about

I had my first scan of this year yesterday morning (stayed in the day hospital for nearly a day, as they also checked my blood values and you always have to wait a while for the results). Once more, a good result! My condition remains stable and nothing bad is happening to my body. I suppose a lot of other cancer patients would wish for that.

It helps, of course, that I live in Belgium. Here, the study of cancer and how it can be treated is very much advanced and about the best in the world. Moreover, if you take an extra insurance above the amount everyone pays automatically with the wages or pension, you don't have to pay a dime - unless you go for treatment that is not yet recognized. In my case, my oncologist told me there are three ways of treating me. They have to start with the first one, which is medication (pills that are a sort of chemo). Next would be immunology. But the longer I can do with the pills, the better. Perhaps by that time there will be other ways of treatment already.

Our scientists claim that in ten years' time cancer will be some sort of chronic disease, easily treatable. That's great news and I hope it become reality. Now, even with all the advanced treatment methods, people still die of cancer. When I got my diagnosis, four other in my circle of acquqintances got the same news. By now, two and a half year later, I'm the only one around.

So, I do realize that a good health is the highest value in the world. What can money do, when you're terminally ill? Just look at the former sultan of Oman. All the riches in the world, but he died anyway. They couldn't even help him in Leuven.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Heroes in Love

Today we also welcome David C. Dawson in our midst. David's doing a virtual book blast tour for Heroes in Love, a contemporary romance (LGBT) available soon from Boroughs Publishing Group. This book blast tour will take place January 13 - 17, 2020.



David C. Dawson will be awarding $10 Boroughs Bucks to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:


Blurb

NOT EVERY HERO WEARS A UNIFORM


Can love last a lifetime? Billy Walsh and Daniel Richards never intended to be matchmakers. After all, they're only at the start of their own love story. When Billy uncovers a failed love affair, he learns it lasted more than fifty years until it fell apart. He and Daniel see their own fledgling relationship through the lens of the now estranged couple, and they vow to reunite the elderly lovers. But as they set about their task, the pressure of modern life threatens to tear them apart.

Excerpt

Billy was nearly an hour late when he finally rushed down Fulham Road and into the entrance of the Royal Marsden hospital where he ran into a black haired, brown-eyed vision of masculinity. Literally ran into. Publicly crashed into a stunning man wearing a white fitted t-shirt, a linen suit, tan loafers, and stood tall like a catwalk model. Too late Billy skidded to a halt, and into the arms of the handsome stranger.

“I’m so sorry,” Billy blurted out.

The vision of masculinity reached forward and grabbed his shoulders to stop him from falling.

“No problem.” The man looked directly at Billy and held on to his shoulders for a moment or so longer than was probably necessary.

Billy wanted to crawl away and hide in a corner. He had never considered himself a cool guy. The roles he played in soap operas as a sensitive-looking young man with an apologetic, hesitant manner were in truth no more than an extension of his own personality. He was uncomfortable in large social gatherings, and preferred his own company.

But this man with wavy black hair, deep brown eyes, and strong arms was someone he would dearly like to spend more time with. Billy struggled to find a witty phrase, a bright piece of banter to rescue the moment.

“Sure.”

Sure? Billy shook his head at the crassness of his response. The man smiled, dropped his arms, and strode off.


Shit.


Author bio and links


David C Dawson writes contemporary thrillers featuring gay men in love. He’s an award winning author, journalist and documentary maker. His debut novel won Bronze for Best Mystery and Suspense in the FAPA awards, and he has published two books since.

David lives in London with his boyfriend and two cats. In his spare time, he tours Europe and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

Social Media:



instagram: @davidcdawsonwriter

facebook: david.c.dawson.5

twitter: @david_c_dawson




Buy Links







Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe

Please welcome author Rosie Green today. Rosie's doing a virtual book blast tour for Spring at the Little Duck Cafe, a contemporary romance available now. The book blast tour will take place January 13 - 17, 2020.



Rosie Green will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to place your comment:

Blurb

Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love!

Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the Little Duck Pond Cafe. Renting the flat above the cafe seems like the answer to Ellie's prayers. It's only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating boyfriend Richard.

But is running away from your past ever really the answer?

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zak Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer's block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there's Sylvia, who's clinging so hard to her past, she's in danger of losing the quaint but run-down cafe altogether.


Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia's Little Duck Pond Cafe from closure?

Excerpt

I have never climbed a tree in my life.

But I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

It’s a gaspingly cold mid-January morning with an ice-blue sky overhead – not exactly the ideal conditions in which to be lurking on the pavement outside a stranger’s house, nervously eyeing up the oak tree in their garden.

Camera gripped in my freezing hands, I stamp my feet and blow out misty breath as I psyche myself up to be bold. I’ve driven sixty miles from Newtown, where I live, to the pretty, chocolate-box village of Sunnybrook in Surrey – with the ultimate goal of climbing this very tree and taking photos of the view from up there.

The tree is almost exactly how I pictured it in my imagination – old and gnarled with broad, evenly-spaced branches. My eye homes in on one branch in particular. It reaches out to the left, a little over six feet from the ground; the perfect place to sit and gaze out over the village green and the duck pond. (As I knew it would be.)

Tears fill my eyes. But I’m smiling, too.

It’s all in a good cause.

Stop dithering and just do it!

When I push it open, the garden gate swings inwards without creaking and the windows remain blank. I drop my bag by the gate and head for the tree.


It’s amazing how fear can give you almost super-human powers. Under normal circumstances, I’d need someone to give me a bunk-up into this tree. But today, with adrenalin pumping through my system, I manage to swing myself up there with no problems at all . . .


Author bio and links


Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café is the first in Rosie’s brand new series of novellas centred around life in a village café. Each novella is a ‘stand-alone’ read. Readers will be able to read the whole series on Kindle Unlimited"



You can connect with Rosie Green on Twitter: @Rosie_Green1988


Amazon purchase link: https://amzn.to/2W8uXF7

NOTE: Book is free

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Weekend Antwerp

Once more, we'll be spending a weekend in Antwerp - the town in the north of Belgium where our grandmother was born.

When my sister and I grew up, were kids in the 1960's, there was nothing of any importance in Dendermonde where we lived. So when we needed something (clothes, for instance) for a special occasion, our grandma took us to Antwerp to shop. She bought us clothes in 't Moleken - a shop especially for children's clothing. Little did we realize then it was the most expensive shop for kids in Antwerp and even in the rest of our country. Our grandparents were rather well off, granddad having fought in two world wars. He got a regular pension as an officer, plus an extra one for several deeds of bravery, and a third one for having suffered major wounds.

So we got the know the town pretty well, and continue to go to Antwerp when we need something. Also, there are many theatres and an opera, plus arena's where well-known artists perform. Plus thousand of restaurants and café's and lots of historical buildings. And a zoo.

We have our favorite restaurant there. Well, more of a bistro. They have a small menu card, but what they cook tastes like heaven! We've eaten the best beef stew there. Simple food, but oh so good.

Lately we have got to know Brussels as well. For a long time we never went there, but last year we began our discovery. Not so long ago, just before Christmas, we also spend a weekend there. Another interesting town is Hasselt in the province of Limburg, near the German border. Actually, there is plenty to see in Belgium as a whole. But you never know your own country as well as places in other countries, right?

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The effects of global warming

Winters aren't what they used to be. Up to now, we haven't had any temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, which is quite unusual for the time of year.

For tomorrow and the day after, the weather forecast is that it will be around 13°. Normally we should get around 5°. And it doesn't look like it there will be any cold forthcoming later this month. Winter?

Well, I won't complain. I like warm weather. And hopefully we don't get any snow later this winter season. Because snow becomes a dirty mash in our parts. You wake up in the morning and have to clear a path on the pavement (city rulings). Now that our neighbor Willy is no more, that would mean I'll have to do it because Chris is off to her job around 7.30 am. And not only clean the part before my own house, but also that before Willy's as nobody lives there for the moment. So please, snow, stay away!!!

On the other hand, what's happening in Australia is bad. The whole country seems to be on fire. We see the images every day on the telly. Thousands of homes demolished, people on the run to save their lives, ... I have no words for it. Also can't imagine what it must be like because here in Flanders we don't get such extreme draughts and there are no forests to burn.

The only thing we are suffering from is a lack of enough water in the ground. Due to a couple of warmer summers and period with practically no rainfall, the reserves were almost all used up and haven't been restored yet, although we've had enough rain in fall and winter already. When it keeps on raining until summer, we might get back to normal.

Do you suffer any effects of global warming?

Friday, January 3, 2020

Almost back to everyday life

These are the last days of the two weeks of Chrismas holidays. Well, at least for my sister (I have eternal holiday as I'm into my pension). But for the coming four years we still have to deal with the school holidays.

After our trip to Egypt we decided to stay at home - and we could well use it because the trip was rather tiring. We made excursions every day from early morning to evening. That's when you start to realize you aren't 20 anymore! And most strangely, I feel less tired than my sister, who is nearly five years younger...

It's rather quiet here in town. Not much going on. With our neighbor Willy dead (he died in October last year) the house on the right side of ours is empty and only the Polish neighbors on the left side remain. They are our age.

Everything will go back to normal when the schools open on Monday. Then our street is busy with kids riding their bikes to school, or just walking to it. And also there are more customers in the shops, especially now that the sales period has started.

Before we know it, we'll be leaving for South Africa!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Last day of the year

We've started the last day of 2019. For some people living down under, it soon will be 2020. We still have to wait a bit less than 13 hours.

We got back from our trip to Egypt Saturday night. We had a great time (will tell more about it in my travel blog) and have seen a great deal. We stayed in Cairo, but made trips to the Giza plateau (with the pyramids and sfinx), to Fayoum oasis (where we could ride a 4x4 into the desert and see prehistorical remains of ancient whales, mysterious lakes and waterfalls), to Alexandria (still lots of Roman remains). We had a great guide for three of our trips, named Youssef El-samak. This guy really did his utmost to make our day memorable.

Normally we would have been at the seaside right now, but my sister is tired and so we decided to stay home and just be lazy!


Which just leaves me to wish everybody who reads this all the best for 2020! Most of all, a good health and happiness in all you do.