It's such a long time since I blogged you could be forgiven for thinking I had hidden away from the world. For those who appreciate this form of contact, I'll endeavour to write a quick update. The upside of my non-communication is that you will be spared a blow-by-blow account of my fortunes over the last little while! ;-)
re mother: my sister referred to the emotional roller-coaster, with good reason ... she is still here, despite our having been told twice that she was unlikely to last more than a week or two; she is frail and fragile and any hiccup in her care (non-appearance of the district nurse, any illness)results in a crisis which means my sister has to sort it out; she is on morphine because she has painful arthritis, so she tends to repeat herself and forget things more than we are used to; she still has her weekly German class (they come to her) and loves to have people come to see her. One carer thought she was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, but my sister reassured me that was not the case (having trained as a Special Needs teacher she knows a bit about how the brain works) and on reflection I realised the symptoms described could very well be due to tiredness or the sort of confusion you get into when you feel hassled (and she will always feel she doesn't want to cause more bother than she can help, so that applies)and the morphine won't help, either. I wish there was more co-ordination between herbalists and the NHS as I'd like to see what alternative pain relief might do.
re: sister (Fiona) she is the one who has to organise anything my mother needs, along with a part-time job and a busy and demanding household. She has managed to have a couple of much-needed breaks (I sent her away to Aylesford Priory in Kent on one occasion, the other she spent in France arranging the juicing and bottling of their apples). All this makes for a lot of stress and any of you who read this and are the praying sort, please do.
re: brother (James) is now project-managing the security system for the shopping centre on the Olympic site. As it's right over the opposite side of London (he's West and it's East) he has a long commute and doesn't get home until 8pm; given that the morning commute must mean an early start that doesn't give him much time during the week, though he still sings in local productions.
re: me What happened to my immune system I don't know, but mid-August I got a nasty cold which turned into a chest infection and 10 days of antibiotics :-( I had been planning to clear the decks to be ready for the new academic year .... best laid plans o' mice and men .... and I was still taking antibiotics when I went to the opening course residential.
I am, as usual, way behind with my studies, but must catch up and complete this year because I cannot forever dilly-dally. I plan on getting Christmass wrapped up this weekend so that I can then have a straight road ahead. Preoccupation with my mother's health (predominant last year) leaves me unsatified: there is only so much I can do and I need to study, for myself (as well as for the very good reason that I will otherwise get thrown off the course - and that I don't want!). I did feel at one point last year that it was all of no avail because it wouldn't keep my mother alive, but since then I have realised how very keen she is for me to continue (she always asks what I am reading, however much of a muddle she might get into, and she isn't expecting to hear that I've been reading a novel!). After she dies it will be a fitting memorial to her to take the course through to the end. I could use her knowledge of St Paul when I get to that module, but I think I will have to rely on inspiration from above as its two years away! My assignment on him will be written in memorial to both my parents, both keen students of St. Paul, who between them had a wealth of knowledge through sheer familiarity with the texts.
We have had very cold weather early in the winter: today is a little warmer - just a short respite from the North/North-East winds - why can't it get stuck at South rather than North? Last night I heard a thud outside the conservatory that sounded like someone's boots on the snow: I think it was the snow sliding off the conservatory roof onto the snowy decking below.
That's it for now!