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Friday, October 16, 2015

Our Heroes

Image result for kite flying festival"We rise by lifting others." ~Robert Ingersoll

     Les and I have been lifted by friends, family, and strangers this week and I want to be sure to say thank you for all the kindness that has come our way to ease the stress. 
     We are blessed indeed by the many boaters who have offered help and assistance. Tom and Jan Jones on NB Waiouru have kept watch on our boat while I made trips to the hospital, and they have kept me laughing with their fabulous Kiwi sense of humor. They've helped me move the boat for water and saved my space so I could return to the same spot. Both of them have been kept my spirits up and my mind occupied so I didn't sit and fret about Les. 
     Jennie and Chris Gash on NB Tentatrice live nearby. They picked me up from Warwick train station yesterday after my physio appointment, took me to Tesco for my BIG shop, and we had a lovely lunch, catching up upon their return from their summer cruise. They visited Les yesterday and took him some clothes, and visited him again today. Chris and Jennie are going to bring Les home once he is discharged. 
     The folks at the Fiddle and Bone pub/Sherborne Wharf allowed me to pay for my coal over the phone and they arranged for a water taxi to deliver it to our boat, where Tom Jones stacked it neatly on the boat roof. 
   Paul Balmer of NB Waterway Routes was up to Birmingham to visit his daughter. He stopped in yesterday afternoon, bringing greetings and love from Sue and Vic on NB No Problem whom he had visited with earlier in the day, and we had a lovely natter over a cup of tea. Paul is fascinating to talk with and he offered us lots of pointers about using his DVD maps and apps which really excited me to try as soon as Les is back aboard. Paul also offered to come up and help us with lock flights if we needed it. 
     We've been contacted by more than a dozen boaters offering us love, encouragement, and help. Our friends Tina and Andy Elsford of NB Ytene have called and checked in as have Sue and Ken Deveson of NB Cleddau. Grateful thanks to every one of you who've reached out. It reinforces how fortunate we are to be part of the community on the cut. We are wrapped in your kindness and loving care and I know I am not alone even though my Best Beloved seems so far away.
     Family and friends have checked in and IM'd me on FaceBook, passing messages along from Les to me via FB and email when I had no phone. Thank you Martin, Ken, and Sue! Big hugs and lots of love to our North American contingent for checking in on us. 
   A local Brit took the time to explain to me that within a given hospital, each ward functions independently of all the others around it and one can have a ward that is poorly staffed with incompetent care, while the ward right next to it can be brilliantly managed and have a team of doctors, nurses and staff that are very good at delivering excellent care. For U.S. blog readers, a ward is a room of usually six beds. A floor may often have 4-6 wards on it depending on what kind of patients are there (ob/gyn, cancer, general surgical, etc.
     When Les returned to Sandwell Hospital Wednesday morning, he was housed in Lyndon 2 Ward. The senior sister and matron of this new ward apologized for the shabby treatment we received previously in Priory 2 ward, and his care has been exceptionally good by a very caring and dedicated staff, for which I am thankful. Things are moving now (pun intended) and it is likely Les will home tomorrow. 
     I want to give a special shout-out to Julien and Stephanie at the EE shop in Birmingham, 109 New Street. I went in Wednesday morning after getting back home via a taxi from New City Hospital at 2 a.m. I had spent the rest of the night cleaning the boat since I could not sleep and consequently I was pretty brain dead when I walked into the EE shop. Julien sorted me out a new contract better than my previous one, and a new phone that suited my needs: I wanted a clam shell design so the cover protected the phone and something very simple to operate. I refuse to have a phone that functions as though it is smarter than me; one that assumes when I begin a process that it should take over and call Dakar to book me a hotel room and then route a call to Timbuktu for a car rental simply because I pressed the wrong part of the screen. I don't want a phone that is always updating apps and sucking up battery energy with wi-fi. The flat design of those phones makes it uncomfortable for me to make calls, and invariably when I call my kids back home in the States I disconnect the call with my cheek. Yes I am a Luddite!!! 
     Anyway, Julien wouldn't let me leave the shop until my phone was sorted. He set the date and time for me, made sure the sim was in and the phone was charged, up and running. Stephanie ported my old phone number over for me. I was well cared for and they provided excellent customer service with a large dash of kindness stirred in. Thank you!!
     TOA Taxis of Birmingham have also been brilliant. I've felt safe traveling with them at all hours of the night returning from the emergency runs to the hospital, and their drivers have been kind and helpful. 
     Finally I offer a grateful thanks to the stranger who got off the train yesterday in Warwick. I was on my way to my first physio appointment and I had the trolley with me for grocery shopping later. Warwick rail station is not accommodating for the physically disabled, having no lifts (elevators) and many narrow stairs. This lovely man took one look at my face as I stood at the top of the staircase going down to the street, doubt written all over my features. He gently offered to take my trolley down for me, and walked down by my side so other people in a rush had to go 'round us. He took my trolley all the way out to the curb for me and blessed me with his help and consideration.


Jennie said...

Well I am sure that we have never been called heroes before Jaq, but looking at all the other 'heroes' you have listed, I feel we are in very good company. You know that we are only too pleased to be able to help and we are at the end of the phone if there is anything else we can do. Lock flights we are well qualified to do and I am sure a little practice will stop us getting rusty over the winter!! Take care and we hope to see you tomorrow with a very precious 'delivery'! Jennie

Les Biggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Fingers crossed on that special delivery!!
Love Jaq

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Baby! Thank you. I love you too and miss you much.
Wifey xxx

Paul and El said...

Lovely people on the cut, and to top it off Tom Jones stacked the coal on the roof, mega impressed, you just cant keep a Welshman away from coal!
Paul xx

Anonymous said...

I soooo don't want to hear about your new trails and the need for your ongoing courage and effort to get through a day at a time with your lives. Oh if I didn't live half a world away. But I am so thrilled to hear of the close friends you have on the cut. May the heavens be kinder to you.

And the nurses and the @#$%^&*( health care system over there. I can't believe the crap over visiting hours. When Jim is in the hospital I Live there. I Feed him. I run interference. NO WAY they could keep me out.

Don't get me started. I just send all the good dragon flies and sun and health to you that .... that you deserve.

Karen in lovely Pullman.

PS - youre GoFundMe notice covers up your text and can't be moved out of the way.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Hello Jaq and Les from the NZ-based contingent,
I have just caught up with your tale of woe - life has been in the fast lane for us over the last week or so: closing down the boat, driving to Scotland and back and then flying home to NZ. So my apologies for not getting in touch sooner. It is so good to see that the boating community continues to rally around - good friends are worth their weight in gold.
Sounds like things are coming right for Les after a time of travail. I wish we could have been around to help.
Love and biggs hugs to you both, M&Dxox

nb Bonjour said...

Hi Jaq,
I've just realised Les must have been beginning to feel pretty grim when I met you last week. I'm so glad he's on the mend and we send you both our best wishes for the future

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Karen my dear,
These events appear on the time lines of our lives and then time carries us onward and away from the event horizon. With each day we travel farther from it, healing can occur if we allow. I find it best to get it all out on the page, and then move onward.

Boaters,as you know having been one yourself, are a lovely community and we are privileged to be part of it. But Les are also very fortunate to be part of a larger world community of friends and loved ones that includes your sweet self!

Yep--I agree with you about taking care of loved ones at hospital. When Les was in the RFH for liver surgery I brought him all his meals and made sure he had nourishing foods.

I have no choice about where the Gofundme button appears on the blog in terms of space usage. I could move it further down the page but then no one would see it.

I miss you girlfriend and love you to the moon and back!

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Marilyn! Well I knew we weren't hearing anything form you and David because you were getting your ducks sorted and heading back to NZ. We were well cared for by those other wonderful Kiwi's. ;)

I hope you are recovering from the stress of getting Waka Huia sorted, saying goodbye to family, and that incredibly LONG plane ride back home.

We love you much Pal! Same to David and hugs to you both,
Les and Jaqxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

I knew there was something I forgot to put in my post--and that was meeting you and your generous offer of apples from your tree!

Yes, He was feeling quite badly and being stubborn he wasn't willing to go to hospital until he was practically collapsing with pain.

Hopefully next time our paths cross we can have a good natter over a cuppa.

Sue said...

You may be able to reduce the width within the widget code.

I expect Gofundit gave you a code to put on blogger side bar, well within that code is a bit which says "width="258" height="338". You could change this so it is slightly narrower by changing the width. It might work or it might not but you could try.

Some of these widgets wont change even if you try to.


Boatwif said...

Hi Jaq and Les,
Really hoping that all is well now back on nb Valerie. I know Jennie has "delivered the package"... here's hoping the package is behaving himself and that Chief Nurse, while looking out for the patient, is looking after herself as well!
You are both very much in our thoughts and we look forward to seeing you both soon,
Love Sue /Boatwif

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of all your current problems hope Les better soon and you get good NHS treatment I am a regular reader of your blog
Jan& Dave nb PipeDream

Eve said...

Hi Jaq and Les, Sorry to read about you troubles, I hope things will get better from now on. Can I ask what you are raising funds for.

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts are with you both. Love & light..pam& terry nb the roosters rest

Les Biggs said...

Just click on the link and it will explain all.

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Sue,
Thank you for the tip. I tried it and Les says it appears to have worked. the Widget never did overlap the post text on my computer but it did on his. I suspect this has to do with the web browser view setting. Mine is larger than usual--the better to see things!

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Jan and Dave,
Lovely to hear from you! We will b eon the lookout for your boat now. Thanks for the good thoughts.
Jaq and Les

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Terry and Pam,
Thank you for your kind thoughts. I sincerely hope our paths cross sometime soon!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs