George is fine… great in fact! after a few scary days in Alder Hey, he was back to his old self, his MRI was clear and we’ve had Christmas at home. Just wanted to thank my wonderful little sister, Shannon, for coming to the rescue wrapping the last of the kids presents while we were in hospital. Thank you for also holding my hand around Tesco at stupid o’clock the night before Christmas Eve on your one day off over the whole festive period.
Thank you to our friends who as per usual picked me up, gave support, provided food and even offered Christmas dinner!
In March we started fundraising for our garden project to help make life a little easier for us and the children whilst George is undergoing treatment for leukaemia. I blogged about it back then, about how our old garden was a bit unkempt and swampy, some of the fences were on their way out and the space wasn’t really being made the most of.
The response was amazing, our target was blown out of the water
enabling us to buy the very best materials and add finishing touches we’d never imagined! All this was possible because of the love and generosity of our/George’s followers and supporters, friends and family. Whether you took part in an event, a challenge, shared our story, donated time, people power or money, the garden has had a complete overhaul and we love every bit of it.
I’ve included as many pictures as I’ve built up over the weeks and will outline what your money and efforts have contributed towards.
The garden has been raised to the same level as the step from our house so we no longer have an issue with flooding. Given the recent huge downpours it’s been great to not have to avoid going outside. George also doesn’t struggle with access either now 🙂
Decking – love it, looks great, easy to clean, no difficult steps for George to negotiate when his medication gives him sore joints.
Some fence panels replaced to match others in places where they were falling through or rotting.
Newly installed stable-door-gate allowing easy access to the park behind us. We now have the ability to watch the older children and make sure they are safe whilst George is in the garden. It also keeps the local doggies out when the kids remember to close it!! I found a chocolate lab in my kitchen and it’s shitzu mate running circles around the garden last week.
We now have garden furniture! it’s been nice to sit outside in the milder weather whilst the kids have played. There’s loads of room for the whole gang, comfortable and modular, so we can change the layout as necessary.
We also have a decent dining set, with cushions that is adjustable to seat 10 people if need be. Al fresco dining all the way!
Our artificial grass is lush! No mud, no dirt, no weeds, no mowing! The kids roll around on it and picnic on it… best investment.
Our pots, plants and flowers have come on wonderfully. The kids enjoyed getting involved planting (as did my friend Kath who seems to be claiming all the glory for their beauty and success) and I’ve found it really therapeutic looking after them… call me Charlie Dimmock. In fact. Don’t. Damien’s surprised they are still alive of course!
We’ve had lighting installed allowing us to enjoy the garden right into the night if we’re ever hosting or the kids are having a late one. It looks pretty impressive in the dark, my Nanna would have said “it looks like bloody Blackpool illuminations out here!?” All LED though so there won’t be a power cut across Woolston every time we switch them on.
I chose a funky grey and yellow awning and love it! Not only does it protect George from the sun while he’s particularly sensitive during chemotherapy treatment, but it’s also waterproof so we’ve been able to sit out in the rain too. Very handy since it rains about 80% of the time. It’s like an extension to the house while it’s mild enough to leave the patio doors open at the moment.
We bought a few extras which have helped complete our new living space – a basketball hoop, chalkboard, swing ball (a nostalgic addition!), birdy feeders and we had a tap fitted outside which has mainly been used for water fights!
We’ve had a day at home today while George didn’t have much energy. It’s likely I would have made do with the old garden and encouraged George outside but wouldn’t have lasted long. Instead, we had a nosey out of the gate when the big tractor came to cut the grass, George has watered the plants with the hose while I enjoyed a cup of tea on the outside sofa, then we read stories out there too. Oliver came home from school and played basketball, then there was a mass “Power Rangers” brawl out on the grass when Daddy got home from work. We all had tea Al Fresco – sausage,
mash and veg, not quite Nigella yet…
All these positive, wonderful times are possible now, whenever we want. We’re excited to enjoy the rest of summer with friends who visit and just be able to chill on the tough days.
From the bottom of my heart thank you for helping bring a smile to our whole family’s faces, this garden has literally changed our lives for the better through the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced.