place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
30th November 2011 - Onwards and Upwards ...
It was so good to see Ross-on-Wye buzzing at the weekend.
Hundreds of people turned up to see the Christmas lights
being switched on by Wincy Willis, although most of the
children seemed to be more interested in meeting Peppa Pig,
as well as enjoyng the glow bands and sweets supplied by
Ross Town Council. It was a great afternoon with a lot going
on, including two brass band performances and, after the
switch on a great performance by Splinter. It was good to
be out and about, busy with the camera again and I hope
you enjoy looking at the photographs. It
was also great to meet many people who I've not seen in
a long time. I am really looking forward to ART's Christmas
Shopping Festival this coming Sunday and the Christmas Carnival,
which will take place on Saturday, 17th December.
went to church on Sunday. I used to attend Henry Street
Evangelical Church on a regular basis, but life and work
got in the way and I kind of got out of the habit, although
I did go occasionally, when time permitted. Why? You may
well ask. When I visited my sister in Wales the previous
weekend, we went to her church in Cardiff. I enjoyed the
service and decided I would go last weekend in Ross. It
was good to see the people at Henry Street again. I did
not realise how much I had missed them all and I shall be
attending again this week.
am keeping my fingers and toes crossed at the moment for
a positive outcome to an interview I have tomorrow. I have
been looking for part time work for a while; not just for
the money but to give me some form of routine in my life.
Many of you will be aware that my life in general has been
total chaos over the past six months whilst trying to come
to terms with losing Alan and then my Dad. Six sessions
of counselling helped a lot but how I miss those 40 minutes
per week. Still, hopefully, given that I do get the job,
some sense of normality might finally begin to set in.
have so far completed only the lights switch on and news
of the Hairy Bikers show in this issue but more news will
be following very shortly.
25th November 2011 - Christmas is coming...
It's that time of year again, isn't it? Most people
seem to have just one thing on their minds right now...
Christmas! It is simply amazing just how quickly this season
appears to come around and I love hearing children getting
excited about what Santa is going to bring them. Supermarket
Christmas began as usual in September although this year
I feel people have tended to leave things to a more appropriate
time. Lack of funds could be one reason for this but I would
really love to think that people want the Christmas hype
to start a little closer to the time, making the run up
an exciting couple of weeks of rushing around buying presents
and food and making arrangements to meet up with the family.
always felt this way too. He jokingly made himself out to
be Scrooge incarnate but he wasn't at all like that. Although,
he was particularly delighted when my parents bought him
a black and white striped jumper for Christmas. 'A Bah,
Humbug jumper!' he shouted with glee. (And I did have a
job getting him to change it after wearing it for the first
couple of days).
am not yet sure what my arrangements will be for Christmas
this year. Both of my sons will be working for some of the
day and I will certainly be going to photograph the annual
Lions Christmas Lunch for the elderly. After that, who knows?
But, I am looking forward to ARTs Christmas Shopping Day
next Sunday, 4th December. There will be lots going on and
many lovely Christmas gifts to choose from for friends and
family. I am also looking forward to the Christmas Carnival
and children knocking on the door to sing carols but more
than anything, I
am looking forward to putting this horrible year behind
said 'Goodbye' to a friend on Wednesday. Many people knew
Clive Maynard. He was mischievous, clever, artistic and
could leave you in agony from aching ribs when he made you
laugh so much. Rest in peace Clive. I don't think anybody
will be forgetting you any time soon.
the moment, this issue of Wyenot News comprises this blog
and two other pages but I shall be uploading news of events
I have covered over the next few days. I know, I have said
this before then found myself unable to work. My intention
to just 'get on with it' failed miserably and I actually
felt that I would be unable to continue, then I had a dream.
I shall not tell you what that dream was but it gave me
hope and motivation.
celebrated my birthday on 16th November. My first birthday
in 15 years without Alan here. My son, Russell, really spoilt
me, then later I went out to the Lovely Broome Farm where
Tomas Michalik was having a leaving party. The lovely friends
up there also turned it into a birthday party for me too!
It was an amazing evening and thank you all. On Friday,
18th I celebrated with friends at The Eagle Inn. Andy and
Maria arranged for an acoustic line up of local band 'Switch'
to play. Thank you so much both. It was a lovely surprise
and thanks guys for the playing gig! On Saturday I went
to my sister, Sue in Wales to stay for the night and had
a lovely time with her, brother-in-law Mark and the 'kids.'
I missed Alan dreadfully and shed the odd secret tear but
enjoyed the time as a whole, very much.
seemed to go out of their way to ensure I had a really good
birthday, as they knew that Alan always made that day special
for me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
guess I had better sign now as it's 01:26 but before I go
I want to say a big 'Thank you' to Simon Cropper for his
help with a task I have been struggling with for a while.
Thanks again Simon. You are a star!
you are doing this weekend, stay safe and have a good one.
4th November 2011 - Keeping Warm, Fed and Watered
October seems to have been a very, very long month.
Since my return from Tunisia, losing Dad, saying 'Goodbye'
to him and trying to play catch up ever since, I feel pretty
worn out and the month seemed to last forever. I enjoyed
a very busy weekend last week, covering some of the Hallowe'en
stuff going on but had several problems at home with the
gas supply to my house, which, at last seems to have been
use a 'pay as you go' meter and in July,when I went to put
credit on it the meter would not accept my card. After a
telephone call to British Gas I obtained a new card, which
the meter would not accept. Another call to British Gas
revealed that it was the meter at fault but, as I had £30
of credit on it and a working supply, I was not a priority.
Alan and I always kept the meter topped up to build up a
store for the winter months so I found this most annoying.
few weeks ago, the supply to my house stopped working, despite
still having a little credit left. I phoned British Gas
again, informing them of this. They tried to arrange an
appointment for the near future; I tried not to explode
when I explained to them that I could not cook, I had no
heating or hot water and that they were, therefore obliged
to come out within four hours of my call. Four hours and
forty five minutes later, a young man called and, as a temporary
measure, managed to reboot the supply and all was well for
a few days. My meter then began to use the £5 emergency
credit, so I called them again. I was simply told that when
I had NO SUPPLY AT ALL, they would come out and change the
meter, telling me that they didn't actually have many spare
meters. 'And...?' I said. 'Okay, so you have a few spare
meters, I actually NEED one very badly, so why can't you
just come and replace it?' 'Because you still have a supply.'
This meant that when I did eventually get a new meter, not
only would I have to replace the emergency credit, I also
would have to put considerably more credit on the card to
maintain the supply.
few days later, I found myself with no gas supply at all,
so telephoned the 'nice man' at British Gas again. He promised
me that somebody would be out within four hours. They never
arrived so I eventually retired at around 2am, freezing
cold and hungry. When I phoned them the next day, the 'nice
man' of the previous evening had not even logged my call.
Eventually, a very nice engineer came and fitted a new meter,
giving me £10 emergency credit and all was well, except
for the fact that, in order to get my original £10
back I have to take my new card to the local outlet and
top up £1 per day for up to five days so that that
piece of vital information can be electronically transferred
to my new meter. Fine, except that I had to wait for 48
hours before this latest system became operational!! I shall
have to go out in a moment and get said £1 credit
but I can now shower, cook and keep warm albeit at considerably
more expense than I would normally have. RANT OVER (for
hope that you all enjoyed the 'Hallowe'en weekend' and that
many of you enjoy some of the many fireworks displays going
on over this weekend. This evening, I am off to the Chase
Hotel to not only take photographs of the Lions fireworks
but also to enjoy a happy family occasion as my nephew,
Joseph and his bride, Heather are celebrating their wedding
there. I can't wait.
you are doing this weekend, have a good one.
26th October 2011 - The Only Way Forward
I have finally found the solution to my problem. I have
spent the past few days, weeks, even months trying to work
a way around the difficulties I have been experiencing,
to no avail. (Well not much avail, anyway!). Yes, I have
very valid reasons for my lack of motivation, my inability
to make myself put fingers to keyboard as often as I should
and my reluctance to even switch on the PC and I am truly
grateful to you all for your patience and kindness. It eventually
dawned on me that, the only way forward now is to just GET
ON WITH IT and, during the course of the next few weeks,
I have an awful lot to be getting on with.
Friday I shall be out and about, hopefully photographing
those celebrating Hallowe'en. The Barrel are giving away
prizes for the best carved pumpkins and the Hope & Anchor
are hosting a Hallowe'en Karaoke! (And we all know how I
hate Karaoke! ;) ). Saturday is probably going to be even
busier as there will be spooky fun and games going on at
The Eagle Inn party from 7pm, which shall later move on
up to Charlie's Bar. There will be prizes for the best dressed
up male and female. I had a lot of fun helping Maria to
put up the decorations, I must say.
Saturday, 5th November of course is Ross Lions' bonfire
and fireworks at the Chase Hotel. I will unfortunately be
unable to produce the kind of coverage Alan used to but
there will be lots of photographs of the Lions' biggest
fundraiser of the year. I shall also be in attendance at
The Chase for another, very special reason. My nephew, Joe
and his bride Heather will be enjoying the evening part
of their wedding day there. A joyous meeting for the family,
in stark contrast to the mournful gathering of last Friday,
when we said 'Goodbye' to Dad.
all this we are heading big time for Christmas! ART will
be holding another Christmas Extravaganza on 4th December
and on each of the four weeks leading up to Christmas, they
will be holding a draw worth £250. Details of how
to be in with a chance of winning will be published in the
next issue of Wyenot News. Of course, then we are looking
at the Christmas Lights Switch On and the wonderful Christmas
Carnival, when Santa will visit the town to give all of
the children of Ross-on-Wye who meet him at the Market House
a pre Christmas present. Well, that lot should keep me out
of mischief for a while.
hope that you enjoy this small issue of Wyenot News and
that you all have a fantastic weekend, whatever you decide
18th October 2011 - One day at a time . . . . . .
Hello friends. Long time no see. I have decided not
to begin with an apology and a promise that things will
get back to normal soon this time, with the view that, if
I make no such promise, maybe things WILL get back to normal
family and I are still reeling from the shock of losing
my lovely Dad, Robin Collett on 2nd October. We never doubted
that he would return home from Tunisia once he had recovered
from his operation so when the news came that Dad had passed
away on the evening of our return, our whole world came
crashing down. I have been unable to spend much time with
my heartbroken Mum but have visited her twice, the second
time being after my good friend Andy Gooding had taken me
to Bromsgrove so that I could see Dad one last time. Thank
you Andy and Maria.
know that Mum feels pretty much as I do right now. Like
she's lost half of herself; the half that keeps you going,
encourages and supports you and gives you somebody who you
love more than anybody else in the world, including yourself;
a half that was unique and which can never be replaced.
We have to say 'Goodbye' to Dad this coming Friday, 21st
have tried many times during this awful period to switch
on the PC and get on with some work but my heart wasn't
in it and I don't know where my head went, so found myself
unable to proceed. On the rare occasion I did actually manage
to switch on, I took one look at the massive amount of work
I have to catch up with and let my grief get the better
of me, switching off again and resolving to 'carry on tomorrow.'
Sometimes, however, 'Tomorrow' is a long time coming.
do feel a little better having seen my Dad. I talked to
him and promised I would try to help look after Mum and
that I would look after myself a little better too. I woke
this morning and resisted the strong urge to call a friend
to meet for coffee, forbidding myself to go anywhere until
I had done some actual work and have put together this blog,
one other page and linked up the new ad for Hilltop
Bop Birds of Prey Centre from the relevent pages.
I say this? (Draws deep breath, praying no other heartache
will come our way anytime soon). . . . I hope to be uploading
a Wyenot News update on a daily basis, with the exception
of Friday, until such time as I have well and truly caught
up with everything. I hope that you enjoy reading today's
small effort and I look forward to giving you more news,
including the weather stats tomorrow.
you to all of my friends and supporters who have been so
good to me through this very difficult time.
5th October 2011 - Words Almost Failed Me, Then . . . .
Earlier this evening I was very unsure how to begin
I have sat and thought about it for hours and I'm afraid
I almost didn't bother. I then thought of the many loyal
readers and friends who have been kind and patient enough
to understand the reason for the at times, long periods
between issues of Wyenot News since Alan passed away.(As
many of you know, I have found working on the news very
difficult at times but recently felt I was beginning to
get back on track), so have finally put fingers to keyboard
and hope that you will understand. Again.
week, I had prepared lots of pages to upload and these will
be online within the next couple of days. I was working
late on the news, as usual, trying to get it finished before
my Mum came to pick me up as she and Dad were taking me
to Tunisia for a week, thinking the break would do me good.
At around 7:15am on the morning of Saturday, 24th September,
I could no longer keep my eyes open and caught an hour and
a half of sleep before she arrived.
did have mixed feelings about being away that week as it
meant I would be in Tunisia on Alan and Sarah's birthday
but Sarah was very happy for me and I knew that Alan would
be too. He had always wanted me to fly. He had looked into
taking me on a relatively short flight to Ireland but we
couldn't afford it then, so he said we would go another
parents and I flew to Tunisia on the Sunday, arriving in
time to enjoy dinner and watch the live entertainment provided
by the animation team. On Monday, we walked to the shops
and the Medina in Yasmine Hammamet, Mum and I both looking
back at Dad for him to approve the final price for our purchases.
Then we took a walk to the beach where we enjoyed a drink
in the sunshine before heading back to our hotel, the lovely
Iberostar Belisaire. It was going to be a great week!
on Monday night Dad fell in his bathroom, knocking himself
unconscious. He was taken to the Polyklinik where, after
x-rays it was discovered he had chipped one of his vertebrae
at the top of his neck and it had fused with the adjacent
one. Dad was operated on a few days later and was recovering
well. However, he developed a chest infection, and his blood
pressure dropped dramatically due to his heart condition
and sadly, Dad passed away at around 9pm on Sunday evening
with my brother Kevin at his side.
to say my entire family are totally devastated at this time.
Mum, like me has lost the love of her life so I know exactly
how she is feeling. I only hope and pray that I can find
the strength to help her through this, along with the rest
of my family.
again, I have to ask you all for your understanding at this
very difficult time. I apologise also to the people I met
in Tunisia who were looking forward to reading all about
Normal service WILL be resumed as soon as possible.
in peace Daddy. I think you know just how much we are all
missing you. I have asked my Alan to look out for and look
I would like to thank Andy and Maria Gooding for taking
care of me and Michael when I got the awful news of Dad's
passing; Bernice and Sarah Wood for sitting with me for
hours afterwards; Simon Cropper, Caz and Doc, Chris Kiss
and everybody for their kind messages at this very sad time.
14th September 2011 - Just a Little Update
I hope that readers have enjoyed the news I uploaded
on Wednesday evening. To be honest I was extremely tired
by the time it went
online, however, things should be a lot easier now I have
a working PC. I
have been busy catching up with a few outstanding tasks
over the past couple of days and am beginning to feel more
as if I am waving now, instead of drowning.
I wrote in my previous blog, beginning work on the news
is difficult without Alan here but once I get started it
seems to come together. After reading through the news the
following day, I realized that, in my endeavour to get the
previous four weeks' worth of news online I had forgotten
a couple of items. I sincerely apologize to the people concerned
and I am hoping to make amends during the course of this
very good friend, Nick Stephens of Rose
Cottage has created and launched a fantastic web site
about Symonds Yat East. The site, www.yateast.com
is full of the interesting history surround the village,
the research of which took many hours of work and includes
information on; the birth of tourism to the area, the history
of the buildings and industry; flooding etc. and shows how
Symonds Yat East is today, promoting the businesses there.
created yateast.com as a tribute to Alan, who would feel
honoured and be extremely proud of our friend. Well done
Nick! Thank you. You've done an amazing job.
thing I am really pleased about is the fact that I managed
to lift the kettle from its stand with my left hand this
morning. (It was a cold one this time and yes, it was empty,
but I couldn't do that a couple of days ago.)
hope that you are all enjoying your weekend and II shall
look forward to uploading more news early next week.
14th September 2011 - At Long Last!
Welcome to this week's issue of Wyenot News. You may
have noticed from the index page that there is rather a
lot included in this issue. This is due to the fact that
I had been unable to produce any news for some weeks now
for various reasons, not least the fact that Alan's computer
broke down irretrievably. I was given a replacement to try
out but unfortunately it was not fast enough to cope with
the kind of work required but now have a better model which,
now Matthew has reinstalled most of the software is almost
there. Thanks too for sorting out the press releases for
although the processor burnt out as well as the motherboard,
the hard drive was safe so I still have all the data. I
was extremely worried at first as due to being busy trying
to get to grips with all things Wyenot, I hadn't actually
got around to backing up all the data. Phew! Because of
this, as you can imagine I have been very busy trying to
play catch up. I have still been going out and covering
events but have been unable to do anything with the coverage
until now. I hope that you will forgive me and that you
enjoy this issue of Wyenot News.
on Wyenot News without Alan here is so difficult and I don't
mean in the technical sense. To feel a complete lack of
his warm, funny, kind, cynical, loving presence is heartbreaking
and I am finding it harder to deal with as time goes on.
In the beginning, you kind of cope by doing the things that
have to be done and I threw myself into work but now, one
minute I can feel okay-ish then the next I am in tears because
everything suddenly feels so empty. Every now and then though,
when I feel like giving up, I get that faint scent of Sandalwood
and a feeling of reassurance. This probably sounds totally
nuts to you but Alan and I were (well, I still am) firm
believers in the after life.
hand is slowly improving now. The chest x-ray I had revealed
that my lung wasn't responsible for the nerve paralysis.
It also revealed a curvature in my spine, (not front to
back but to the side) and slightly over inflated lungs.
I have been having physio for a couple of weeks now and
have a little more movement but still can't lift anything
and it does what it wants sometimes. Because it doesn't
hurt, I sometimes forget about it and whilst introducing
myself to Inspector Gebbie, I put my cup and saucer into
my left hand to shake hands with him. Suddenly there was
coffee everywhere. I narrowly missed the Inspector with
it but he somehow, mysteriously moved on.
would like to thank all of my friends and family for their
kindness and support during this horrible time. I could
not do this without the knowledge that you are there for
me and everything, small or large counts. From lovely meals
and offers of lifts or just a listening ear, I thank you
all from the bottom of my heart.
need to make another apology here to the wonderful people
at Broome Farm. I have not yet been able to process all
the coverage of your fantastic Cider Festival but am hoping
to rectify that tomorrow. The event was wonderful but was
also a bit of an emotional roller coaster as Alan and I
always enjoyed the festival and camping in the orchard together.
The music was brilliant, the food and cider were great and
it was fantastic to spend some time with old friends.. and
some new ones. If you've never been to the Cider Festival,
you don't know what a wonderful weekend you are missing
am going to sign for now and let you see what I've been
doing for the past four weeks. I hope you enjoy it and will
keep reading. Have a great week, whatever you're doing.
11th August 2011 - Swallowing my Pride
'What on earth is going on?' I can imagine you saying.
'First there is a fortnightly issue of Wyenot News, now
we have had two updates in one week!' The answer to that
is, I'm afraid insomnia. I just cannot go to sleep at normal
times. I begin to think I might retire, then carry on a
little longer in order to get something finished. By the
time the task is complete I am wide awake again. (Some of
you may have noted that the last issue of Wyenot News was
uploaded at 7:30am on Monday morning.)
last issue of Wyenot News was a rather large one. Matthew
took care of the Herefordshire Council press releases etc.
for me whilst I plodded on with the rest single-handedly,
literally! My left hand is still not fully operational so
I paid another visit to the doctor who sent me to have a
chest x-ray. The thought behind this is that as I fell asleep
sitting up in my chair, it could be that my lung is trapping
the nerve and causing this temporary paralysis. We shall
see, when I get the results back next week. The burn I acquired
after picking up the kettle with the wrong hand is still
sore but healing nicely now.
helped me again this week with the PRs (thank you Matt)
and the news is pretty much up to date now other than for
the photographs of Ross Town Carnival which took place last
weekend. It was a fabulous event and I took lots of photographs
but had a technical problem with the camera. (I didn't know
how to work it properly!) I shall be uploading the Carnival
coverage in the next day or so. Many thanks to Simon Cropper
for coming to my rescue on the day and resetting the camera
to where it was before I tried but failed at taking some
time lapse photography at the recent Broome Farm Ceilidh.
I am much more familiar with Alan's wonderful piece of photographic
equipment now but still have much to learn.
good friend, Mike Arnison has written and emailed me a couple
of helpful tutorials in time lapse and I will hopefully,
left hand permitting, be putting this into practice at the
forthcoming Broome Farm Cider Festival, an event which Alan
and I always thoroughly enjoyed together and to which I
am very much looking forward. Apparently there are still
some tickets available, so if you would like to attend this
fabulous event, get your tickets now. Details are on the
What's On? page of Wyenot.com.
evening I got together with the Ross Rocks team to discuss
our plans for the 2012 event. The event in June was a huge
success and turned out to be a wonderful tribute to Alan.
Keep reading Wyenot News for further information.
be perfectly honest, life without Alan is not getting any
easier. It is 10 weeks ago today since Alan went to sleep
and I am just so lost without him. I know that it is still
too soon to have even begun to come to terms with the loss
of my soul mate, but there are still many things I need
to learn to be able to keep Wyenot.com going as I promised
him I would. So, instead of allowing myself a reasonable
period of mourning, I have tried to throw myself into the
work and now.... there is no going back.
have been a little stubborn in not taking up offers of help
from my many wonderful friends, rather foolishly thinking
that I could figure it all out for myself. Well, I have
learned to swallow a little of that pride recently as I
realised that Alan didn't learn all of that wonderful skill
and knowledge overnight. He learned it from years of experience.
I now realise too that Rome wasn't built in a day. I have
only been in control of Wyenot since May and therefore cannot
expect to know everything just yet. So!
My wonderful friends. I thank you all from the bottom of
my heart for your offers of help with various issues. I
am still stubborn, (I get it from my father, apparently)
but will not let pride get in the way of giving you a call.
do hope that readers will enjoy this issue of Wyenot News
and I look forward to seeing you when out and about, covering
local events. Have a good week.
7th August 2011 - A Few Days R and R
They do say that things happen in threes and last week
for me that proved so true. After my gas meter wouldn't
read my card and receving a returned passport application,
last Friday evening, instead of going to bed when I was
tired, I fell asleep in the office chair. I woke on the
Saturday morning with a totally useless left hand. I could
not open my fingers without forcing them with my right hand
and my face felt tingly. I was worried to say the least.
However, after a few minutes I could operate my hand in
the palm up position but after an hour or so I was still
unable to operate it fully. I decided it might be sensible
to visit Ross Hospital, to be on the safe side and was informed
that I had temporary nerve paralysis which could right itself
any time. I was however advised to see the doctor if there
was no improvement in a day or so.
evening I went along to cover the Broome Farm Ceilidh, hoping
to try some time-lapse photography. After needing help to
set the camera onto the tripod,I set the camera off for
the first dance. It wasn't quite right so I attempted to
adjust the camera settings, which wasn't easy with my hand
being as it was. That set didn't go according to plan either
so after taking lots of other photographs, which I hope
you will like, I then got help to disassemble the equipment.
Matthew had loaned me his pop up tent and I camped in the
old orchard, which brought back lots of beautiful memories.
a long story short, (and it is a long one), I went to see
the doctor on Monday who told me I should start to get some
movement back within ten days. If not then some physio would
probably be in order. Because my hand wasn't hurting, I
kind of forgot about the problem and whilst making a cup
of coffee, I picked up the boiling kettle with my left hand,
which turned instantly inwards, pushing the hot kettle against
my arm. I then had two choices: drop the kettle and scald
the rest of myself or try to push it away from my burning
arm with my other hand. I went for the latter! .
paid another visit to the doctor on Tuesday and was told
that if I didn't regain full movement by Friday, to go back
and he would arrange some tests, then promptly sent me to
the hospital to get the burn dressed. By Wednesday, having
been going round in ever decreasing circles, I decided to
take a break and visit my mother who isn't well. She and
Dad were delighted to have me stay for a couple of nights
and I got spoiled rotten.
my return home I was offered a lift out to Broome farm for
First Friday by Nick Stephens and Bill Griffin and what
a lovely evening we had sharing food and music with friends!
Feeling much more refreshed after this I am all set to go
again and I hope you enjoy the work I have done. I must
take this opportunity to thank Matthew for taking care of
the HC press releases again for me. His help has been invaluable.
have to say that whilst I was away I missed Alan more than
ever. I feel close to him at home and despite having had
a lovely time with my family I was pleased to get back.
This feeling will never go away and I guess I shouldn't
keep talking about it but Alan was my life; my soul mate
for almost 15 years and compared to the pain of losing him,
my troubled arm is nothing, nothing at all!
hope that you enjoy reading this issue of Wyenot News and
that you all have a great week.
24th July 2011 - The best laid plans...
In my last blog, I wrote that I would be publishing
submitted news items as and when they came in, leaving more
time for me to be able to catch up with the many other things
I need to get done yesterday!. Almost immediately after
the last issue of Wyenot News was uploaded, I began
having problems connecting to the internet and ultimately,
the modem died. so much for Plan A! I didn't have a Plan
B but fortunately, Alan's son Matthew came to the rescue
and after waiting in for almost two days for the new modem
to arrive, we're back.
very kindly took care of the Herefordshire Council press
releases for me whilst I went through the thousand or so
(not many by Alan's standards) photographs I had recently
taken, selecting the better ones, processing them and building
the current news pages, which I hope that readers will enjoy.
In the meantime I have still been out trying to cover as
many events as possible, which is a little difficult without
transport. I give you fair warning, I am going to get myself
on the road as soon as I possibly can.
people ask me how I am in general and how I am coping with
the monster task of keeping Wyenot News going. It isn't
easy. Time in which to do it all is hard to find but this
will be easier now I have Matthew helping me and Sarah's
willingness to film events for me if needed. I also find
it difficult to get motivated at times too, for as much
as I love working on the news, the fact that I'm here working
on it alone makes me dread starting anything. Once I do
start, I'm away!!
Alan was here, we quite often would sit silently, each of
us concentrating on the work we were doing. But we were
together and, to be truthful, I cannot wait until the time
we are together again. Obviously this may take some time
to happen but I look forward to it nonetheless. I know this
sounds absolutely barmy, but I do feel that Alan is here
at times, watching. In times of stress, both Matthew and
I and more recently my friend Theresa have caught a scent
of Sandalwood, one of Alan's favourite fragrances wafting
up in the office. Just briefly, like a fleeting breath which
gives a sense of comfort and reassurance that everything
will be alright, eventually.
the time factor, another great friend of ours pointed out
to me that unlike Alan, I'm not just working 24/7 on the
news. I used to work, cook, make tea, do the washing etc.
which enabled Alan to do that and I am still trying to keep
up with all those things as well as work 24/7 on the news.
Thanks Norman, you made me feel so much better about it
the strength of that revelation, I am now setting myself
more realistic targets and things should get easier on that
side from now on.
do hope you enjoy reading this issue of Wyenot News and
I thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and kindness.
a good week.
to get to cover some events is a little difficult at times
due to the aforementioned transport problem so please don't
think it is because I am not interested. I am and if I cannot
attend your event, please send a photo or two with some
information and I will be glad to publish your news. I was
lucky yesterday in that my friend Theresa very kindly took
me to Peterstow Fete on her lovely trike on Saturday. From
there I caught the bus to the Hope & Anchor to await
the arrival of Shane, Rod and Mark who walked over 180 miles
to raise money for St. Michael's Hospice, then I walked
to the next job and so it goes on until I can take lessons
and pass my driving test.( I'll let you know when I am on
the road so you know which times to stay safely indoors.)
10th July 2011 - Getting back on track
It seems like forever since I last uploaded a new issue
of Wyenot News and I apologize to regular readers for this.
Getting to grips with being at the helm of the Wyenot ship
has been a rather arduous task and how on earth Alan found
the time to do all he did is beyond me. Before Alan left
us, he showed me many things that I needed to know in order
to keep Wyenot News up and running. There were a few things
however that Alan did not get the time to show me and I
have had to do what he always did and figure it out for
myself, with a little help from Sarah, Matt and our friend,
Mike Arnison. Thank you, all of you.
problems aside though, I have found it extremely difficult
to put fingers to keyboard and process all the footage and
news from recent events (and there have been a fair few).
Before Thursday, 2nd June I had somebody working with me,
somebody to ask how to; somebody to read and approve an
article I had written; somebody to make tea for; somebody
to share everything with and not having Alan around anymore
is what makes this so hard.
I have produced the news all by myself, several times but
Alan was always there for me to ask, 'Is this alright?'
'Are the photos okay?' 'What do you think of this?' etc.
Now it is as though half of me, the most important half
has disappeared and the remaining half has been left adrift.
People tell me 'It's early days yet' and I guess that's
true. It will be just six weeks on Thursday since Alan lost
his brave battle but it feels like a life time ago and it
still hurts. A lot! I'm sorry, but I'm not brave like Alan
was. I'm finding all of this very scary. BUT . . . .
have also been told, 'Don't try to run before you can walk'
and so, in order to keep on top of things, for the moment
I shall probably be uploading the submitted news as and
when it comes in while I get my head around the many other
things I really need to know all at once. This way I can
also give more time to the people who support Wyenot.com
financially, some of whom have been neglected in recent
weeks. They have been very patient and I am grateful for
I sign from this week's blog I would like to say a big 'Thank
you' to Sarah for producing the Ross Rocks Videos. You have
done an excellent job Sarah and your Dad would be extremely
proud of you, as I am. I have to say that we were all very
touched by the way many of the bands dedicated their set
to Alan and that on the day, the Bandstand became 'The Alan
Wood Stage.' Thank you all so much.
hope that you all enjoy reading this week's issue of Wyenot
News. Things should be getting back to 'normal' next week
when I hope to have published the footage I took of Pop-Up
opera's production of Don Pasquale and last weekend's Country
& Western Festival.
to all for your continued support and encouragement.
I just had to publish the photograph below.xx
It certainly did, love.
29th June 2011 - Normal service will be resumed as soon as
First of all I would like to apologize for there being
no updates on Wyenot News since 13th June. Regular readers
will be aware of the reasons for this and I would like to
thank you all for your patience and understanding. I have
found working on Wyenot News very difficult recently but
I have been slowly building up these current news pages
in between doing the things that had to be done and I hope
you enjoy reading all four pages, (six if you count this
blog and the weather!)
would like to give special thanks to Norman Bricknell who,
understanding that I may need some help wrote two pieces
for me; the recent Georgian Day and his personal account
of the sad occasion of Alan's funeral. I cannot thank you
enough for this Norman, you have been very kind.
you can see, the news is a week behind at this moment in
time. There are two main reasons for this, the first being
that the time needed to produce the news has been very difficult
to find. Since Alan passed away there have been so many
things to deal with and although I have been out and about
covering events, getting around to putting the footage into
the news pages has been a slow process. The second reason
is that getting back to 'normal' has not been easy. It still
isn't and I don't think I shall ever know the real meaning
of 'normal' again. However, I think that I have taken as
much 'time off' as Alan would allow himself in similar circumstances
and I would like to assure our faithful readership that
normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
news which would normally (there goes that word again) have
been uploaded this week will be just a few days behind.
This is due to the fact that I have been busy compiling
this issue of Wyenot News and being actively involved with
Ross Rocks! Alan's daughter, Sarah filmed most of the event
and has produced a video which will be uploaded with the
next issue. I am just waiting on some technical advice,
then will be able to upload the next issue.
has never done anything like this before and has, in between
working her shifts spent hours working on the film. Sarah
has done a fantastic job and I am sure that you will all
enjoy the result. Thank you Sarah, your Dad would be so
proud of you.
apologize if this blog seems waffly. It is now 06:53 and
I haven't been to bed yet but will as soon as this issue
is safely uploaded. Many thanks again for your patience
13th June 2011 - In Loving Memory of Alan Wood 01.10.53 -
I am finding it extremely difficult to put into words
just how I am feeling right now. The
news of Alan's passing away on Thursday, 2nd June seems
to have rocked the whole of Ross-on-Wye, the town he loved
so much. If Alan could see all of the emails, letters and
cards I have received or all of the comments on both of
our Facebook pages, and the wonderful tributes in the local
press, in particular the Ross Gazette, he would be truly
amazed and touched to say the very least.
house feels so empty at times, yet at others it feels as
if Alan could walk through the door at any moment after
having been out to film some beautiful river scene or wild
life, which was one of his favourite pastimes. I still cannot
face the harsh, unfair reality that I shall probably not
see him again until the time comes for me to join him. I
say probably, because Alan said that if it is at all possible,
he will come and visit me from time to time.
Watching Alan's courageous battle against cancer was both
awe inspiring and heart breaking. He faced his illness with
dignity and calm and expected me to do likewise. In the
beginning, I occasionally let my face fall, holding back
the tears. When he noticed, he would stroke my face with
his hand and simply say, 'Normal. Remember?' From then I
learned to be 'normal' realizing that I had to be very strong
for him, especially after Alan wrote, 'Seeing and feeling
the sorrow of others is much harder to take than my own
inevitable future because, no matter how much I might want
to make them happy, I cannot change what is destined to
be. All I can promise is that I will continue to fight for
as long as I am able.' He did just that and I am so proud
funeral will take place at St. Mary's Church on Friday,
17th June at 1pm. Everybody who wishes to pay their last
respects to Alan is more than welcome to attend. After the
service, I, along with Bernice, Matthew, Christopher and
Sarah hope that you will join us in a drink at the White
Lion Inn at Wilton before moving on to Alan's party at Broome
Farm. (Alan didn't want a Wake, he wanted a party at one
of his favourite places where his guests can enjoy some
music and food whilst sharing memories of him with others.)
has left Wyenot.com and Wyenot News in my hands now. My
photographic skills are coming along nicely according to
Alan and there will be more films in the future. I hope
that you will continue to enjoy your weekly read as I will
continue in Alan's endeavour to attract visitors and business
Alan and I at my birthday party in November 2010.
11th May 2011 - A Final Update
I have not got an awful lot to write this week as my
condition has worsened and I struggle to sit at the computer.
Tina has finished her work at the White Lion and is now
able to stay home and look after me. I became unable to
climb the stairs, so I now have a bed downstairs, which
is not quite as comfortable but has made life easier.
have been advised by my doctor not to undergo further chemo
as it is not really gaining an advantage and will make me
feel even more wretched for no real gain, so I am going
to take that advice. I may have to sign from Wyenot totally
from now on but Tina is doing a good job of keeping things
updated and will continue to do so.
have received many more letters and emails over the past
week. Thank you all for your love, your thoughts and prayers.
is to hoping that Wyenot and the short films will be my
permanent legacy to Ross and the Wye Valley as I begin to
embark upon my new journey. I don't know when this will
be but I cannot imagine it will be long.
to all of my friends and readers.
4th May 2011 - A Royal Wedding and the May Hill Sunrise on
Royal Wedding and General Outline
My disease is beginning to seriously get the better
of me now and this has been a dreadful month, during which
hardly a day has passed without my being very sick, so getting
out and about has been extremely difficult. Tina and I went
along to Wilton Court for ten minutes during the Royal Wedding,
during which I shot the short clip in this week's 'Week
in Moving Pictures'. The event was well organized and looked
great, with a friendly atmosphere but I was too weak to
stay and enjoy it.
found me out in the garden enjoying the sun when a sudden
need to be sick came on. I stood from my chair to accommodate
and lost my balance through lack of strength. My head, luckily,
hit the grass, having fallen from the concrete step. Once
down, I had not the strength to move. Tina could not pick
me up and she had to run for help from our neighbours to
get me off the ground. I must admit I was worried I might
have fractured my skull and was scared to look but it turned
out to be just a nasty bruise and graze. I also have schoolboy
type knees. I took some pain killing morphine and the injury
did not hurt for long.
Day Sunfest on May Hill
This has long been one of my favourite events of the year.
It marks the start of the summer season for me and I was
sad that I can no longer make the climb. My daughter, Sarah
and her Mum, Bernice came to the rescue however and after
a quick set-up and lesson on the cameras, climbed the hill
at 4.30 am for me to film and photograph the event. At least
I got to see it whilst editing the film. It looked great
and I truly wish I could have been there but as it was,
whilst it was taking place, I was kneeling in the bathroom
with my head over the toilet pan - again!
My enforced diet has caused me to lose over 8 stone (104lb)
in weight since last December, though the method is not
a method I would recommend, even for the morbidly obese.
Although I remain positive in my thought, realistically
I think the cancer is now beginning to get the better of
me. I now see every new day as a bonus and fear that the
disease is going to take me out in the not too distant future.
Fighting it is the most difficult battle I have fought in
my life but if this happens, nobody can accuse me of not
trying. The ironic thing is that, sitting in my garden in
the sun all day has given me a suntan and I almost look
healthy, like I have just returned from a holiday in the
sun. I am now growing weary of the fight but I promise to
keep battling. I begin chemo again soon, so maybe that will
hoping to be back next week. Thank you to everybody for
your love and support and thank you to Bernice and Sarah
for climing May Hill for me.....
Statistics for April 2011
These can be seen below the video and photos.
GO TO THE EARLIER BLOGS >>>
of the flowers coz I'm sure they're gonna get you, yeah.
Forest of Dean Morris side on May Hill.
Wild Oats Morris.
sunrise at 5:20am on May Day.
drinks some mead from a horn.
to Wyenot during the month of April 2011.