I have done my best to keep dovegreyreader scribbles ticking along as normal for the last three months, but I think the time has come to explain that over the coming weeks and months that ticking along might not always be possible as often as usual. Like walking the dog, writing this blog is an important and very enjoyable part of my day and I will continue to do so whenever I can, but inevitably there might be some days when my heart is elsewhere, and my brain goes to mush, so I hope you will understand if there are occasional intermissions. And my apologies too if you have emailed and not had a reply recently.
The Tinker reads here every day...and I asked his permission before writing this and we talked about how much to say, but he has been in the wars since last November.
Some emergency surgery on his abdominal wall... his first ever general anaesthetic... community nurses visiting... follow-up hospital appointments... biopsies... scans.. a random but very painful knee, and now we have the results of further scans we know that he's in a spot of bother with his femur. There have been meetings between plastic surgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists, orthopaedic surgeons, general surgeons, specialist nurses and the like, to be followed by more hospital appointments and decisions, decisions. We are all being plucky astronauts and quoting Chris Hadfield's mantra that there is no problem so bad you can't make it worse, and when I quoted that to the surgeon today he liked it too. So we will all be thinking carefully about next steps, listening to the advice of the team and of course the Tinker's wishes will be paramount.
There is no denying that we have all had a tough time of it since this all began (if you could only know how well the Tinker did to get to his Ushakov medal ceremony just two weeks after surgery) but be assured we are of good cheer and as always seeing the funny side of things when we can. Bookhound and I are hunkered down at home with him, keeping the home fires burning, dealing with each day as it happens, keeping children in the loop etc. The local pharmacy are being fantastic, driving things out to us at home when we need them urgently, and the cavalry arrived last week in the shape of the Intermediate Care Team. They circled the house with their wagons and physios and OT's started to unload not only equipment but help, support, inestimable kindness and understanding in great measure too, all in order to help the Tinker continue to be as independent as possible. Whatever awful news you hear or read about the NHS believe me there are very very good things happening as well.
I do get his ironing board out for him, but he insists on doing the ironing himself, and doing his online shopping, and cooking when he can and enjoying staying in touch with the world and here via his iPad.
Susannah Herbert wrote some very kind words about dovegreyreader scribbles in a piece for the current issue of the Royal Society of Literature magazine...
'...she doesn't do hatchet jobs and feels no obligation to be fashionable...'
...'if you take pleasure in the pleasure of others, this is a marvellous celebration of online reading...'
Lovely, lovely, but Susannah Herbert said this about all of you, the people who read and comment here so often and so generously, and with reference to our reading list for Lesley-Ann...
'This summer dovegreyreader asked them to recommend comfort reading for a friend whose husband had just died: the suggestions were thoughtful, kind, enlightening. Dovegreyreader really is a community...'
And it is that sense of community we have... of all of you out there, that has me writing this post today.
I have put it off and put it off because I didn't want to burden you with our worries and anxieties in any way, and because I know plenty of you might be experiencing something similar and hardly need to read about it here, but I can't pretend all is fine when it is otherwise at the moment. It is as if someone has flicked the railway points and shifted us onto a different track...we can see the other one over there but here we are, different route, different scenery for a while, and having shared the Tinker with you all for nine years we had a feeling some of you might want to know and to be thinking of us in the weeks and months to come.
We have a big hospital appointment where more decisions will be made this afternoon so Bookhound opened up the Barber's Shop in the kitchen...'I'm not taking you down there looking a scruff,' I said to the Tinker ( he actually never looks a scruff) and we had one of those bitter sweet, magical, memorable and very funny moments with which life is blessing us at the moment...