Crazy hope


I bought something the other day, from John Lewis’ web site of course  and Al drove me to pick it up.  So of course I got the “what on earth have you bought this time?!” question.  (Oh, if I had £1 for every time I’ve been asked that….)

So instead of saying what it was and then spending an hour justifying myself, I said, “actually you’ll be pleased with me because it ‘s a very optimistic purchase”.  And I made him guess what it was….a pair of (on trend, of course) summer sandals.  This no doubt seems mad to most people.  I only have one leg so the poor left sandal will never be worn.  And I have terminal cancer.  And I live in Edinburgh where summer sandals only get to appear for about 2 hours per “summer”.

But I bought them because I wanted to, and I liked them – they’ll look fab with fake tan and some imaginary dresses I don’t even own (yet!).  But most importantly, they are a symbol of my crazy hope.

It’s 3 months since my diagnosis, which initially was only weeks to live.  So if I get another few weeks or months, that’s fantastic.  More time with my beloved Alberto, my treasured parents, my wonderful friends, and best of all (sorry guys but he tops you all) Xavier (my cat). All I need is just a little more time.

I’m living in a weird kind of limbo, not exactly waiting for death, but aware it could happen at any moment. But every day I wake up, and feel OK, is a gift. And weirdly I manage to forget the whole thing and enjoy just being me and doing what I want to do. It’s not always great, there are times when I look at someone I love and imagine me gone, and I start to cry because I can’t take the inescapable future grief away from them.  But mostly I hold things together and have beautiful happy days, precisely because despite everything I do have hope.

And hope has to be one of the things that make us all singularly human.  So yeah summer sandals in Edinburgh may be crazy.  But I need their hope.  And what a fab excuse for buying more stuff…




  1. I bet they are gorgeous sandals 🙂

  2. Claudia · · Reply

    Hahaha, there is my Lou! Shop till you drop…!!! Go for it… No regrets, remember!? And after this beautiful photo shoot, you just had to have these beautiful new shoes to go with the top model!! I hope they’ll match with the small surprise the postman will bring you in the next few days… You’ll have to tell me! Xxx

  3. nikki bruce · · Reply

    hello Louise – I think of you often and look forward to your blogs. My heart lifts when I see a new one – signalling time for a cup of tea and a few moments to savour your wise words. Such powerful combinations of strength, honesty, vulnerability and positivity. Keep them coming! Nikki Bruce

  4. Moira Scobbie · · Reply

    Lou, we have never met, but I know Al and lots of the people who have left comments on your blog. I find myself thinking about you both a lot…wondering how you’re doing, how you manage to be so positive and hopeful, and how you mange to be so damned gorgeous! You have touched ore people than you can ever know with your blog…and next time I buy a pair of sandals (not really ideal footwear for the croft!) I shall think of you. Moira x

  5. Ross Swinton · · Reply

    Good for you Louise, sandals for the Edinburgh ‘Summer’. Bet they’re not purple though, and what’s wrong with purple may I ask (see last post if you’ve forgotten what you put) I have a very nice Hawaiian shirt that has a very nice purple background. And you wearing sandals in the Edinburgh summer is kinda like me and my shirts, not so much optimism, more”It’s summer dammit and I don’t care if it is freezing degrees, I’m gonna wear summers stuff!” And talking about sandals I seen an excellent example of individuality and “I’m me, take me as I am or F go away!” a real live Hippy. Must have been in his 60s, long white hair, Shaggy from Scooby Doo tuft of beard, crotched or knitter waistcoat over a tie-died T-Shirt, flared jeans and sandals (no socks). Makes my dress sense look normal. This guy must have went to Woodstock and not all of him came back. I get that guy and so, probably, do you; Who cares what anybody thinks, if I want to dress like a Hippy I will. Same with my shirts, I want to wear summer shirts in the middle of winter so I do. So if you want to wear sandals in the Edinburgh summer, or whenever you want, even in the snow, “You wear them ‘Gurl!” And Hey – You’ve only one foot to get frosbite in, bonus!

  6. Beautiful, definitely get that summer dress or two next! Much love Xx

  7. Hi Louise… Today you MADE me shop… not for shoes but for something else, I just thought, what the hell and why not – More often than not ‘us shopee’s’ shop for things that we don’t need, often don’t use but at the time it makes us feel good, and it gives us a lift! Shoes are a must to buy regardless of the season, they give us an instant lift… You done the right thing, good girl! Put the heating up full and pretend it’s the summer and stick the new buy on ASAP – Wee glass of wine in hand and you lovable Xavier on your lap, bliss. Great to get your blog email today, as one of the above comments mentioned, thinking of you and Al, I do the same, it’s always an enjoyable inspiring read, you have belive it or not kicked my ass since following your story…. Keep smiling Louise, Love n hugs, Karen Haston xox

  8. Wendy Niblock · · Reply

    Hi Louise
    I met you through Eileen O’Reilly a few years ago and also during festival meetings when I worked at imaginate. I found out a few days
    ago about your blog and started to read it. Your words made me both laugh and cry. You must have such a myriad of emotions at the moment but your positivity is overwhelming.
    Now go out and buy the summer dress…women deserve a new frock!
    Wendy x

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