Tuesday, 31 January 2017

HOT AND SPICY … ( back on the open road )





Used LEYLAND DAF Flatbed Trucks for Sale on Auto Trader Trucks








After months o hard work and saving the day came and we managed tae pay for oor truck. Mel had been working 12 oor shifts at a care home near Dingwall and me at a fish factory in Dingwall were i worked as an industrial cleaner.

we had lived at the back off oor pal Roy’s garage who we bought the truck off. in a wee caravan .

heading oot from there tae dae oor shifts. i used tae have tae carry Mel and her white uniform shoes across all the mud and oil. never a pretty site lol. then i would drive her tae Garve and head off for my shift. this went on till we saved up enough tae hit the road.  apart from the one wee hiccup when we had tae work another week to cover the cost o down rating the truck tae 7.5 tonne . (Mel was well pissed off). anyway towbar fitted we guided oor caravan and dropped it ontae the tow hitch, a magical feeling. saying oor goodbyes we headed happily off doon the open road again. free again .


Stopping just past Dingwall i pulled intae a layby just tae check everything was ok. aye aw seemed good till i checked the towbar , were i noticed some o the weld had cracked . fuck, got back intae the cab and explained tae Mel we would have tae go back. ( words o joy rang oot from ma wee warrior)

pulling back intae the yard Roy, Billy and Hamish were aw standing staring at oor rapide return. grumpily Roy sorted oot the problem . Mel in the cab keeping calm, lol. then again engine fired up, we hit the open road , free at last , lol.


This time everything ran smoothly aw the way doon the A9 stopping at some o oor old haunts , the simple joy o nae direction powerful.


past Edinburgh the wee truck running like a dream onwards doon thge A9 till we approached Berwick upon Tweed. i asked Mel “ are you hungry, babes ? “.  her wee smile the simple answer. pulling off the main road we headed intae toon.


slowly approaching a bend i asked “ are you happy ?”. again a huge smile . a wee shared kiss. oor mooths watering at the expected wee chinese or whatever lay ahead.


dropping the truck doon a gear we coasted roon the bend.

Then a quick look in the mirror tae check the caravan and at first i was confused . the caravan was heading right as we made the turn leftt . then a huge bang as what was left o the aframe hit the road . metal screaming i managed tae get the truck stopped, jumping oot i headed tae see what was up. part o the aframe was still attached tae the towbar ( well at least , that had held oot, lol).. the remainder was just hanging off the front o the caravan. luckily the chain had done its job.


Standing working oot what we could dae, Mel appeared her worried wee face , what’s up. but a quick look explained withoot words. fuck, what are we going too do babes ? . fuck knows . get a tent … whack . saying it’s ok .  i got the chain and straps from the truck and after some bodging reattached the caravan tae the truck.  if a wee bit precariously i put the hazards on and we headed intae toon..


Mels wee posh side kicking in she hid her face as we passed pubs etc , people aw starting at this wreck heading along the road at 5mph. seeing a sign for an industrial estate i sighed . and said there babes . just as she turned “look a takeaway “….  from under her covers ..


Cool lets get oor home sorted and we can come back.


we made oor way oot o toon and approached a roundabout, fuck.. two coppers were sat tae the side o it. knowing we were just aboot tae be pulled i carried on taking the turn for the ind est . looking for somewhere tae park, happy that at least  the coppers had let us go on oor way, obviously too much paperwork lol. at the far end o the estate we found a lovely wee place. not far from the beach. but Mel wasn’t intae a walk in the wind and freezing rain… handbrake on and engine off , we got oot the truck and intae oor hame for a much needed coffee and think.


after a warm up Mel asked “ what are we going too do ? “  well. two options .. yes ,what !! ( her wee face lit up) . thinking i had the answer.


1 .. dump you , your bad luck ( whack )

2. we put the caravan ontae the flatbed…..


how can we do that ? .

me . what ? dump you, EASY ,


NO, you daft bugger , how are you going tae get the caravan up and ontae the truck withoot tools etc .


FUCK, KNOWS , was hoping YOU had a plan.


lets have a coffee and smoke then i will check it oot.. a wee shared hug



Leaving Mel in the caravan and the warmth i went ootside, looking around i gathered two winch straps and some blocks, scartaching ma heed i went in search o wood or whatever tae build a ramp at the rear o the truck. in the hope with the straps i could somehow pull the caravan up and ontae the bed..


The whole est was quiet , not a soul aboot tae ask for help, eventually after an oor or so i had managed tae scrape from skips wood and even some metal. dragging it aw back. the rain and wind still at play. and the cold biting . i left it aw near the rear o the truck and headed back intae the caravan. Mel was snug sitting reading coffee in hand a puffing on a fag..


are you ok. babes . my question a pretend serious look on ma face . warm enough. not too tired , looking up , she smiled, are you ok ? . aye, sexy,  got some stuff just need a wee warm up. Mel put the kettle on and we sat staring at the rolling waves pounding the walls. happy tae be on the open road again. and living on oor wits. magic..


Over the next oor or so i was in and oot the caravan, until eventually i had summit that looked like a ramp. opening the caravan door and called tae Mel can you tat doon noo, i think we are ready.


ok, ok just let me finish this chapter , aye nae worries, nae rush..


evrything ready Mel came ootside and helped me guide  the caravan tae the foot o the ramp. the rain had at last stopped but the wind and cold seem tae be wanting tae test us both, lol. as i wrapped the strap onto the caravan and fixed it on the flarbed, the rain came back, i said “ it’s ok now. you get in the truck and warm up. before i had even finished the setence ma wee warrior was in the truck and warm. 


with the strap i was able to slowly inch at a time guide the caravan up the makeshift ramp. happy that it seemed tae be working fine.

turning the winch tae the full then chocking the wheels eventually the caravan was inches from landing safety on the bed. Mel shouted . “ok, babes.. aye aye


just then something snapped the wood splinterd and the caravan crashed back ontae the road, fuck, fuck..


leaving it i headed tae the truck , tired  and cold. after a wee break headed back oot tae try again, this time evrything ran smooth and quickly the caravan was safetly on the bed and strapped doon, just then the police decided tae turn up. and quizzed me aboot the caravan , was it mine etc , fuck, if i was going tae steal a caravan would i get one wae a fucked aframe , know i look daft.. they were both cool though.. sadly they weren’t up for helping and drove off lol…


Mel was bye now wrapped up in a sleeping bag. firing up the truck the heater at full blast , Mel emerged from her wee cocoon. a wee shared kiss and we headed off for that takeaway.


we decide on a pizza and sat in the corner and waited making plans where tae head tae that night.


Then the lassies behind the counter shouted oot “ HOT N SPICY “..


standing up i replied “aye that’s me”. ( whack)


what was that for, Mel’s answer , you know !! .


what , what lol


love ma wee jealous warrior xxx


fed and warm we headed back oot ontae the open road….

Monday, 30 January 2017

LAST WALK ( Ullapool medical practise )



We left Lochinver wae the weeks meds and some supplies from the Spar.


Headed tae a wee stepping stone a few miles ootside and settled, over the next days we calmed doon and got back intae the simple life . Mel calm again and the stress at last left behind.


But all the while knowing that we would have tae face the wall again in a week or less. but we put that to the side and as i said  tried enjoying some good food films and simply watching the mountains at play.

over that week we slowly made oor way tae Ullapool even driving slowly was taking it’s toll on Mel now,having been all but bed bound for over 8 months or so . 


eventually though we made it and parked up at the medical centre ready for the next day. and the wall as we tried again tae get a months supply o pain meds.


We hadn’t been back there since the day many months previous when after visiting the surgery , Mel came oot in tears . YET AGAIN. even then it shocked me the strength Mel showed getting oot her bed to walk in.. 


the previous Thursday we had run oot o meds after a really bad week or so. and made an appointment to get some, this time Mel asked if i would go in as they weren’t listening.


we sat there in that we office and poured both oor hearts oot. Mel explaining , she didn’t want any more treatment at the Hospital or any more tests, didn’t want the whole subject brought up again. simply wanted tae get a months supply o pain drugs and go to the beach etc . more and more we let oot until we both just looked at each another. exhausted . the doctor seemed to listen took notes etc and we left after asking again can Andy please come in for the scrip if i can’t make it in. NO, again was the answer. but at least the subject o tests etc would NOT be brought up at the next appoinment. Both o us when asked “ do you know what is happening “, said together aye . Mel knew her time was limited as did i . but over and over we were asked . did we talk aboot things etc etc . aye aye aye.  we left happy . and the appointment was made so we could come back on Tuesday and get the full months meds.


at last at last we said together over and over . i went tae Boots got the meds annd we pulled oot o Ullapool for a couple o days , not bothering tae go far as we knew we had tae return Tuesday.


Tuesday arrived , Mel woke up happy as was i at last things were sorted , we could get the meds and head off on the bimble.


Then , within a couple o oors we were back tae square one, Mel in bits walking back tae the wee van. for ages she simply couldn’t speak the pain and anger raging. eventually though she explained what had just happened.


At the appointment she wasn’t simply given the meds. again the subject o the hospital tests etc was brought up, even the mention o more radiotheraphy the doctor explaining it’s only radiotheraphy.  and then questioned the drugs . in the end she was given the months meds and left.


It took days tae calm Mel doon , in that time i gave everything we had at Droma away including two caravans burners etc and we headed as far as a tank o fuel could take us. vowing NEVER tae go back there..


well here we where , sitting feet from the door in the carpark. Mel now in a wheel chair but bed bound as it was simply too painfull tae even get oot the bed.

Waking that morning .


we had coffee and oor ususal ten cigs , me trying tae make her smile, but i could tell she was worried. then she tried but failed tae get oot the bed , we tried over and over but no.


picking up the phone , Mel pressed the buttons and waited .


the receptionist came on, some Mel knew.


Mel explained she needed more meds and was to get a months that day , but couldn’t get oot the bed, she asked can Andy please come in.



a pause as she went off tae check if that was ok , returning she said tae Mel , NO, the doctor says you have tae come in for them, Mel crying said i cant get out off the bed.


back and forward the conversation went Mel getting more and more upset. i said i would go in but Mel said NO. and continued explaining how much pain she was in and COULDN’T get oot the bed. by this time we were both shouting and crying

THEN the phone went flying wae Mel screaming  “ right, fuck it  i am coming in “


i begged her tae stay in bed , i will go in , but somehow she got oot that fucking bed , crossed that carpark, got her meds and came back tae the van, i never got tae see ma wee warrior walk again. it took her days tae recover tae the point the pain left.

i drove us doon tae Boots and again got the meds , we headed off . i wanted tae take her tae Gairloch and her favourite chinese . we never made it . stopping at Dundonnell instead for a few days . that was when Mel said she couldn’t travel anymore and asked me tae take her tae Droma , knowing then that her death was close . we headed off on the final journey .

Lochinver medical practise ( begging and beyond )


After a couple o magical weeks bimbling , visiting old and new stepping stones .

the time was nearing , and the pressure began. when we would both have tae face the wall. o NO.

as always ,i had enough spare meds for Mel for 4 days. having had to take over the meds for the last few years. ( even though we had had to both put up wae crap for me doing that ).

Anyway that night we headed too Lochinver , feeling not too worried as Mel had been registered at the surgery before , so they had a rough idea what Mel had and was going through.

we spent the night doon at the harbour , where over the years we had weighed in oor winkles and enjoyed watching the comings and goings o the many boats.


In the morning we woke and made our way roon tae the carpark opposite the surgery . ready to make the call. Mel though said she couldn’t cope and could we please just go. talking wae her , i could she her starting too really stress oot , so firing Molly up we drove tae a couple o miles oot o Lochinver along the road tae Drumbeg , stopping at Clasnessie another o oor stepping stones , as always the journey calmed Mel doon and as always we travelled slowly Mel finding it hard , but for the next couple o days we hugged and remembered the many many oors working and walking the beaches, the wee smile returned. but i knew in a couple o days we would have tae face that wall o NO.


pulling back intae Lochinver . ( the last o the meds having gone that morning, i wasn’t worried as i knew Mel would get the help needed . that simple wee back o drugs . to help wae the pain .)


Mel made the call……


sitting looking out o the window , i could hear Mel getting more and more upset.


she had explained that she was now bedbound and was unable to come intae the surgery and would it be at all possible for Andy to come across. and get the meds.


every question met wae, NO, NO


eventually afeter a couple o calls by which time Mel was crying and so angry , it was agreed the doctor would call over to us in the carpark after her appointments.

( the receptionist had told Mel the doctor says you should go to Ullapool and that they could NOT issues any meds , )

Mel , had explained she couldn’t cope wae the journey , and had run oot o meds..


listening tae what had been said i was fumming and said i would go over, but Mel begged me not too. we had asked loads o times if it was possible for me to collect mels meds and had always been told NO , right up tae her death the answer was NO..


we sat and hugged and eventually calmed doon , ready for the visit when a nurse we both knew chapped the door. happily i opened it and invited her in..


Right from the start we both looked at each another, shocked as the nurse simply ignored us and piled on the pressure and upset.


having a go at me for running oot o meds, even though we explained again and again that i had always kept a 4 day reserve but this time Mel had paniced etc


telling us we weren’t listening , as she asked over and over if she could do anything too help, oor answer aye MEDS..  met with a stare.


behind her i could see Mel fuming as she tried tae sit up and ready tae whack the nurse. the nurse left and we just sat there in total silence shocked at what was happening all the while Mel getting more and more stressed..  


The last place i expected too have any trouble getting a hold o the meds was Lochinver .


a couple o oors passed and the doctor called over ..


Sitting bolt upright in bed Mel explained the whole thing too the doctor , about coming a few days earlier etc etc . when she wa finished . the doctor simply said she could not get the meds, and that we would have to go too Ullapool for them. going on tae say we had NOT been tae see Ullapool for some time. we were told we were getting peoples backs up bye simply wandering around the place.


Mel crying said “i am dying and my husband is taking me tae places and visiting people before i die.”


Still the answer was no , no, no..


being told Lochinver was a small practise and couldn’t give out the meds.


Mel stopped talking and turned her back and was crying as i begged and begged for at least a few days meds enough for us too head off. in the end she relented and agreed too a weeks worth and left..


i went over and collected the meds and we headed oot o Lochinver getting tae a wee stepping stone were i was able tae calm ma wee warrior doon again. the energy drained yet again as if dealing wae cancer and the coming deaath was NOT enough tae cope wae. we had a couple o days were once again we hugged and started tae enjoy the time left.


then as the week neared its end . it was time too visit Ullapoll. where what had just happened would be overshadowed . what followed will live with me till the day i too die and go off to be wae ma wee warrior.



Saturday, 28 January 2017

A wee book aboot the last year we travelled together and beyond

This is oor story , aboot grabbing every minute o life , knowing that death was close bye. after a twelve year battle wae 5 cancers and other health issues. Mel decided no more treatment .
all she wanted was her pain meds and tae simply travel for those last days .

simple and yet at times,it seemed we were tripped at every hurdle .

I guess where i start is easy 24th Sep 8.25pm .
2016  the night Mel died at home with me and Cus.