For a long silence. But I really have been quite wretched. The pneumonia lingers on. The nausea and vomiting has left me so weak that I can scarcely pick up a book let alone write. And the weakness means I can’t walk or exercise with the result that after three weeks confined to bed I’m now suffering from excruciating back pain.
On the brighter side I am enjoying being totally infantised. A few nights ago I had this surreal experience of complete role reversal between me and my son. As George was trying to put a forkful of food in my mouth, he circled the fork like a plane and said “come on open up we’re coming in to land” which is exactly what I would do to him 33 years ago.
My daughter Sarah reads to me. We’re reading ‘Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal’ by Jeanette Winterson. An extraordinary tale of triumph over circumstance. The author was born in a two up two down in Accrington with a tyrant of a mother who did everything to undermine her confidence. Somehow she got to Oxford and is an award winning author and OBE.
Nick continues to read me the Maigret thrillers. We’ve read fourteen now. My sister Rosanna is reading me Winnie the Pooh. Last night, we got up to the tale when Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Rabbit gang up on Kanga and Baby Roo and kidnap Baby Roo in the process. But all ends amicably and everyone is friends again now. What wonderful timeless and ageless stories.
So, I’m being fed and read to and nurtured and given loads of love from my family. All of which is keeping me going.
On a more serious note, I’ve also discovered to my relief that despite the infantisation, my cognitive faculties are still with me. Sarah and I took three days to finish one game of Scrabble and I won-270 to 250. Although I’m pretty sure Sarah let me win. Nonetheless it boosted morale, which is in need of boosting. Please keep sending your messages and forgive me for lack of personal response.