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Where are you Mother Murphy?

Happy New Year to everyone.
I don’t need to tell you that 2020 was a difficult year.  I can’t think of anyone who would not have been affected in some way or another by the effects of the Covid 19.
2020 started well for us at the tearoom and we were looking forward to planning for celebrations for our 5th birthday in April.  Then along came the virus and the restrictions, resulting in the difficult decision we made to permanently close the tearoom.
So, March 2020 found me at home with no work, no tearoom and no fabulous tearoom family to see each day.  But I was humbled to find that our tearoom family did not disappear just because the tearoom had closed.  You were there reading our posts, watching our mad face book live videos and we were able to help each other through what was an incredibly difficult lockdown.
There were positives though.  My daughter announced that she was pregnant so there was to be another little miracle to join Minnie Violet.  I saw very little of Chloe during the lockdown but was able to travel down to Halifax in time to be chief babysitter for Minnie as along came little Harley Michael.  Who couldn’t be warmed by the photo of Minnie holding her new baby brother? 
The lockdown enabled me to finish my book, The Magical Tearoom on the Hill.  I had been working on my book for years and had hoped that when it was published, I would be able to have a big book launch in the tearoom.  The lockdown put an end to this dream though.  However, with the help of Kim and Sinclair from IndieAuthorsWorld, my book was launched virtually on 30 November 2020, with people “attending” from all over the UK, France, Australia and Finland.  That would never have happened if it had been a physical event.
With the tearoom closed, I also spend 2020 working on changing our business to be an on-line store so that you could still get your hands on our scrummy gluten free and dairy free cakes and bakes.  October 2020 saw the first of our monthly boxes going live on our Shopify Site.  To date, we have had October’s Monthly Delights, November’s Biscuit Selection and December’s Selection Box.  We have our home-made jam gift boxes on the site, along with Afternoon Tea boxes and various craft gift items.  I’m not too bad with technology but couldn’t have managed this without the help of Business Gateway and especially Rakesh David and Grieg Friel for their on-going support and moral boosting.
It’s certainly not the same as being able to watch the effect tea, cake and chat has on people when they came into the tearoom, but it has been so lovely to receive so many comments and photographs from you enjoying our delights at home.  It just proves that our tearoom family is just amazing.  I worried that I would lose you all when the tearoom closed but you have stayed by my side all the way through the year.  Thank you.
Behind the scenes, I have also been trying in vain to get back to physical fitness following my little unplanned heart attack.  I had been on a bulk load of medication for heart problems, which had horrendous side effects on me, resulting in numerous admissions to hospital.  But the one benefit of the drugs was that the migraines, which I had suffered from since being a 16-year-old, disappeared.
In August 2020 I threw my dummy out of the pram and stopped taking all the heart drugs which got rid of all the horrible side effects I had been suffered but brough back the migraines in a migrated from.  Usually, a trip to the GP to get things sorted would have resolved all this, but as we know, getting to see a GP was an impossible task.  So, for months my migraines were able to continue, grow, change and develop into a different, unbearable form.
In the telephone consultations I was asked “are you stressed?” and told “these are just stress headaches”.  Stressed?  Just a tad!
Over Christmas and New Year things took a little extra turn resulting in something described as Occipital Neuralgia with the most unbearable pain I have ever experienced in my life.  Technical info - It is called occipital neuralgia because it affects the area around the occipital bone. Pain associated with occipital neuralgia is often sudden and severe. Symptoms can be alarming, but they are not usually associated with any life-threatening health conditions.
Over New Year I was admitted to hospital and drug after drug was tried to try and break the cycle of the occipital neuralgia and migraines.  At one point the two consultants working on me were discussing giving me a nerve block injection into the base of my skull.  The benefits of so many drugs now in my system was that I was able to have quite humerus discussions with the consultants about the pros and cons of this injection versus cryogenic head removal.  Finally, they were able to administer a different drug (don’t ask me!) that reduced the pain to a manageable level.
I’m now home and I think my veins are now starting to fill back up with blood rather than the cocktail of drugs they sent me home on.
So, to go back to title of this blog, “Where are you Mother Murphy?”.  I’m having a couple of weeks recovering and taking things easy.  I am migraine free now but not totally free from the other nerve pain so working on the computer, etc, has been almost impossible, which is why I have been very quiet on social media.  Salena has been working hard in the background to redeem her friendship membership after the Ben Ledi and Ben Lawers incidents (you need to read the book!) and has been keeping a light on for me (dimmed at times) and making sure there were no messages that needed responding to.  Thank you Salena and sorry to everyone if you have felt that I have been ignoring your comments.
I’ll be a little drugged up for the next 5 days or so but after that I will be back in the kitchen and getting our January box of goodies ready for you to buy.  Meanwhile orders are being processed as normal for my book, jams, teas and other gifts from the store.
My love for life and adventure is coming back.  I have cakes to make, mountains to climb and more adventures to have.


  • Debra, I’m a blast from the past for Jimmy and found out about your tearoom through Jimmy’s sister Pat. I’m the long lost, red headed cousin from Paisley.
    I’m sorry to hear of your troubles and hope you will be on the mend soon. You have had a really hard time of it, recently.
    I had too had an unexpected heart attack in January, so we are kindred spirits. Wishing you all the best for your new venture.
    Mary McAuley x

  • Hi Debra you don’t do things by half. Take time to relax and reflect, plenty of rest and build up your strength as your on the road to recovery
    Take care Nicky and Brian x

  • Light forever on x

    You’ve certainly been through the mill these last couple of years but it’s great to see the chunks of light and your achievements, here’s to many many more x

  • Dear Debra
    My goodness Havent you been having a time of it!!
    hoping and praying you have complete recovery ASAP my love!
    Stay safe and Lots of Love to you and Jim !❤️❤️🙏🙏🌟🌟

    Dorothy Crichton
  • So sad to read of your continued troubles, but hope that you are soom back on the road again, or should I say hillside? Love and best wishes to both of you from Birmingham, and will look out later in the month for the new box of goodies we can order.

    Linda Hobbs

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