Jazz rabbits, John Coltrane and business as usual


Ever wondered what happened to the characters from the Fast Show’s Jazz Club sketch?

Nor me to be honest, but they made something of a reappearance over dinner when my husband Roger started doodling on a rabbit mask that was lying around on the table. These things do lie around on the table in our house as Sam is always making things and the kitchen is his workshop. He’d opened a packet of make your own masks before tea and they were still there, ready and waiting to be customised.

In a few seconds, Rog scribbled a pork pie hat on the mask, put it on and stuck his glasses over the top. Inspired by the John Coltrane CD that was playing, he started doing Jazz Club voices.

Now he does confess this could have gone two ways. Sam was either going to pick it up and run with it – or throw a tantrum for spoiling his mask. In fact, both Sam and Florence joined in and loved playing with their dad, taking their time to make a mask each and Sam even threw in a bit of air saxophone and impressed us with knowing which part was the sax solo.

So as you can see, things are just the same as they ever were round here. Well in some ways they are the same, as Roger’s condition seems to be pretty stable and there have been no major incidents, but in other ways they’ve changed quite considerably.

Rog has come home from the hospice – where he has been an in patient since April – and we are trying to make the most of our time together as a family of four.


He’s been having visits home for a month or so now, and as things are going relatively smoothly (can you see I’m touching wood while I type?), it was decided that the best thing was to discharge him save for weekly checks and regular visits from the Macmillan and district nurses.

As long as we can manage he will be here, taking it easy with me and the kids.

It’s a huge step considering a few months ago we never really knew if he would make it home at all, but it feels like the right one. I’m trying to keep my anxiety at bay by telling myself help is only a phone call away if we need it.

At the moment, he’s able to get around the house himself, go upstairs to bed and get down again in the morning. He’s tired and is in increasing pain. We’re going into the unknown, and if we stop to think about it for more than a moment it feels like it’s going to swallow us up.

We have our family back together, but as I wrote the other week, it’s like the best and worst of times all rolled into one.

We watch Wimbledon on TV and talk about the time we went before our first child was born. We listen to music and wonder why we’ll never see a concert together again. We look at old photos, and cry about the gorgeous holidays we had and all the places we would have liked to have visited. We look through recipe books and Roger talks about the food he could have eaten before he felt so ill. We see the children laugh, play and squabble and we both know that so much will be missed when we’re no longer all together.

However much we try to distract ourselves from the inevitable, the big black cloud is still hanging there over our heads. We’re trying to go on as normal, but our energy levels are seriously low and although I am managing to look after everyone, I’m feeling so tired and drained and some days just can’t face even getting out of bed.

The summer holidays are just over a week away and without really being able to make plans I’m wondering how we’ll get through. I know this is a worry for many parents, so I’m trying to let that one slide and pray for warm weather and lots of time playing in the garden so we can stay close to home.

In the meantime, it’s carrying on in as normal a way as we can under the circumstances. And if that means making lots of rabbit masks, then so be it.

x Julia

Rog Sam and Flo

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  • Reply
    Mummy Tries
    July 13, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Sounds like you’re all making the most of Roger being home, and that’s really all you can do hon. Nice to see smiles through the rabbit masks 🙂 sending love & hugs your way. Hope your energy levels pick up xxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Illness, Birthdays and The Fat ControllerMy Profile

  • Reply
    Beth Twinderelmo
    July 13, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Fabulous masks! I have to admit I’m totally rubbish at any thing remotely crafty so Charlie would definitely have had a tantrum at me!
    I am so glad you’re all at home together and he’s getting around well and making these awesome masks. I so like you wish it weren’t all so bittersweet.
    Fingers crossed the summer will be kind to us all – think next week is supposed to be nice but as my sister will vouch i always get it wrong!! xxx
    Beth Twinderelmo recently posted…I Am The Mom Who…My Profile

  • Reply
    Megan - TMK
    July 13, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Just so lovely. You grab those ordinary moments – precious moments … With rabbit masks. Your writing is beautiful xxx
    Megan – TMK recently posted…Image of the Week #23 – FlashMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Your writing is so beautiful. Can’t even begin to imagine the emotional extremes of this time for you all. It sounds like you are doing an incredible job of keeping everything going – and still finding time, space and energy to write your funny, heartfelt and poignant posts. Making the most of every second – no matter how hard that is – is a lesson to us all. I am thinking of you often.

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    July 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

    You are such a gifted writer, your children will treasure these posts when they are old enough to understand it all. Those masks are so cute what a fun time they look like they’re having. You may feel depleted but you are an amazing woman who I truly respect and admire, bless you and your family, may the Summer Holidays be full of some really great times for you all xoxo

    • Reply
      July 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      How true, and a comforting thought for the children to have this journal to read in years to come. Julia’s writing is beautiful xx

  • Reply
    Tessa Roberts
    July 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Glad you are all home together.enjoy your time together and l hope the weather shines on youxxx.See you soonxxxxxx

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    A beautiful post. Lovely to have found you through Twinkly Tuesday. You are an inspiration. It looks like you had such a lot of fun. X
    Jen recently posted…POTTY TRAINING THE FIRST TWO WEEKSMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Ahhh I hope you can enjoy as much of the summer holidays as you can. So glad the children will get to see so much more of him, and that you can carry on having these fun moments 🙂 Jess xxxx
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…HomeSense supporting Western UgandaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lisa (mummascribbles)
    July 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Oh Julia, it is so wonderful that Rog is home with you and able to make rabbit masks (and whatever the hell he wants!) with you and the kids. I know that the big black cloud is still there, I know that it cannot be at all easy, but he is absolutely where he belongs and like you say, help is just a phone call away. I remember back when my dad was being shifted from hospital to hospital, having radiotherapy being admitted for weeks and then constantly falling over because there weren’t enough nurses to help him to the loo. When he was told that he could return home to be cared for there, it was such a huge relief that we weren’t suddenly restricted by visiting hours. We kept him home for as long as we possibly could and it just made all the difference in that final stage of his life. And I know that you are worrying a bit about the holidays but for the kids to be spending that extra time with their dad, that’s all that really matters. Sending you all so much love lady, you are so bloody brave xxx Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…Twinkly Tuesday 14/07/15My Profile

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    July 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Aw I love that you are all making the most of your time, I love this photo its just fantastic x
    sarah christie recently posted…5 Steps to Positive ThinkingMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 15, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Beautifully post sweetheart. I’m glad Rog has made it home and what a wonderful memory these masks have made. I hope the summer is kind to you all and you get to recharge your batteries for a minute or two. Lots of hugs x x x
    Lisa@intotheglade recently posted…An oversized clock and a duck egg throw!My Profile

  • Reply
    Katie @mummydaddyme
    July 16, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Oh Julia, I am so pleased your husband is home and I hope that you can enjoy the Summer. I know I say it every time I comment on your blog and you probably get sick of people saying it (and for that I am sorry) but I cannot imagine what you are all going through. You are so incredibly incredibly brave. xx
    Katie @mummydaddyme recently posted…My Sisters in July 2015…My Profile

  • Reply
    July 18, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    These pictures are beautiful, Julia – I think that you might treasure them forever. They look so – so normal, in this bleak, dark time. Two little ones playing with their dad.

    Sending you all of my good wishes and thoughts. xxx
    Amber recently posted…Siblings in JulyMy Profile

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