Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday 14 December 2012

I am appalled to be 60, but have to get on with it now. In many ways I still feel that I am 16 and can't have learnt much in between. Two benefits are a senior railcard and the prospect of about £200 per month local government pension. Disadvantages are many and horrific and to do with sliding faster and faster away from the young people whose lives light up the world. But then it's up to me to stop sliding.

Rik sent a beautiful bunch of roses and lilies in an enormous box. Catherine gave me a lovely long M&S jumper and scarf, and took me Christmas shopping in Buxton. She steered me through several purchases and supplied other ideas, but soon I found I just couldn't cope with all the choices and people and prices and shops; I screwed up with panting breath and hammering heart and had to leave off shopping, and then the train was cancelled... Being screwed up over shopping was just stupid. Later this evening it was her turn to get upset with much better reason over feeling so ill for so long: nothing seems to control the stomach discomfort and the acid reflux that spoils every meal. Five days in, the gluten-free diet hasn't had any result yet, but she has unexpectedly got an appointment for endoscopy on 22 January - a lot earlier than we expected, but it means she must go back to eating gluten until she is tested, which may mean increasing the damage.

One positive development is her application to spend a few weeks at Corrymeela, a place I found inspirational back in 1977. They replied to her enquiry with only 3 - 4 days' delay, and sounded both nice and interested in her; at least, they encouraged her to complete her application, which she has done with care and thoughtfulness as usual.

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