Friday, December 03, 2010

Yesterday I thought maybe I’d stop blogging for a while, but I find I need you guys. I am deeply grateful for all your messages.

So here I am, and we’re carrying on. It sounds as if everybody, the hospital included, has swung into action on the problems involved in getting C. back home. I think in the event it was the drs themselves who decided not to “offer invention”, rather than C. who rejected chemotherapy. There are lots of resources – I believe the original Maggie’s Centre is the one there at the Western Infirmary of Edinburgh. (The Fishwife mentioned it in a comment early on.) People with equally dreadful but less pronounceable diseases than cancer perhaps have a leaner time of it.

Rachel knows a lot about death, and is a great fan of the hospice movement. As are we all. She actually saw Cecily Saunders once, when she was visiting a dying friend. It sounds as impossible as actually seeing Aristotle. She had better phone her cousin over the weekend.

Meanwhile, life certainly goes on. Christmas has not been cancelled. The snow has not gone away – indeed, more has fallen.

The view from the kitchen window...

We had planned to go to London on Monday for a week of art. James is there, staying with Rachel, working in the Economist office. It would have been a thoroughly welcome break in a number of on-going narratives.

Trains are running, but they are taking a long, long time and my husband doesn’t think he could stand it. The suburban trains are not running, the ones which figure in the last hour of the journey as they carry us from King’s Cross to Streatham. And at the moment, the snow underfoot in south London would make it difficult for my husband to get out, just as here. So we wait and see, not very hopefully.

I got the insulin on Wednesday. It was hard work. I haven’t even begun to think of digging out the car, so no supermarket this week as well as no hospital visiting. That means a lot of trudging about through the snow buying this and that as we run out. And speaking of digging out cars, don’t miss the clip Helen C.K.S. has posted.


I’ve cast off the scarf and am nearly finished with the loose ends. There are a lot, because the yarn is cut twice during each twist. Next, the braids for that Japanese hat. (One good thing to be said for this weather, is that I have seen beyond any doubt the continued popularity of ear-flap hats, on all ages, sizes and sexes.) Then Matt’s socks, which were to have been polished off on those train journeys.


  1. In my experience with hospice (both in home and out) left me with the highest opinion of all involved. I hope your family has the same kind of experience.

    Sorry the snow came at such an inopportune time, but thank heaven for knitting, eh? Is that your back garden with the gazebo? Lovely.

  2. Please don't go silent. Sad situations like this usually involve lots of helpless waiting periods when you need all your lifelines, and plenty of repetitive knitting to take the edge off.

  3. Gerri3:18 PM

    I hope you can continue blogging and that we can continue to offer something supportive in return. See how it goes for you.

    That snow is something and the garden gazebo view is particularly lovely.

    As EZ said, "Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises." It is good to know that she wasn't a fool and would know the challenges that real life had to offer. Otherwise, a remark like that about a hobby would drive me nuts!

  4. I for one need to see your blog every morning, please don't quit it. Looked at snow pix from Scotland ever so much worse than the high mountain valleys in BC (for now anyway).

  5. As you might have gathered - we need you as much as you need us. Keep on with the blogging. It's a sort of lifeline. I think you are stirring up memories, and maybe anticipations, for many of us and we want to share and support, both in the giving and the receiving.

  6. On the subject of snow in London - it would be so nice to coincide with Economist James and Art - our Connecticut son who we thought was in London skyped us late last night - where was he I asked - looked like he was in the first class section of an airplane - no, he was actually in a very comfortable looking car just leaving Logan Airport in Boston. He said the route out to Heathrow from central London was fine and snowfree - but the part of London you are talking about is of course a different story. And you have the additional problem of exiting Edinburgh and heading south down that east coast. Keep a weather eye.

  7. =Tamar5:01 PM

    The snow map satellite photo had a sort of cowlick effect over London and another over Edinburgh; the rest looked like regular clouds. Possibly those storms were still active. Stay warm. That red yarn looks wonderful.

  8. Hospice really is a wonderful organisation - or, more precisely, confederation of organisations. Both sides of my family have used them, as have friends we've lost over the years (one a couple of years ago in circumstances very reminiscent of C's). Being able to face the end of your life in familiar, comfortable surroundings, rather than in a hospital room, makes all the difference in the world, both for the one passing and for their loved ones.

  9. I have not been online regularly since September, so I am behind on C's situation. The reason I haven't been reading is that my best friend died at the end of September, of multiple cancers (but mainly lymph). She was 46 and left two children, 11 and 7. It's awful. The uncertainty of the timing is so stressful.

    As unlikely as it seems, it has been a comfort to me to understand that indeed it is the way of all flesh. Life can carry on, Christmas can come, fun times happen...everything in its season.


  10. Sarah JS7:14 PM

    As others have shared, our families experience with hospice has been unremittingly kind, gentle, and supportive.

    Here's hoping your slogging about in the snow for necessities isn't too burdensome.

  11. I find that picture of the various back yards enchanting.

    Being an American from the rural part of the country, it's unusual to see yards so small and clustered just so. Is that the normal arrangement in cities across the pond?

  12. I am enchanted by the view of your back garden and very glad you are continuing to blog. No snow yet for us in NY but it has turned colder.

  13. adding my few words to the rest - please stay on line ... yours is one of the first i read daily - and altho none of us can bring you tea and milk and other necessities (altho i wish!) we can be here on the other side of the screen - not quite the same as a nice cuppa in the kitchen - but here we are...

    as for the groceries - is there not one grocer that would deliver - even if it would be a bit of a price to have it done would that not be better than tempting a fall?

    and the gardens ! oh how delightful - reminds me of ireland where the houses line the streets with HUGE gardens and parks hidden in the centers....

    and am curious to as to who owns the gazebo!

  14. I second Mary Lou's comments regarding hospice. My thoughts are with C, you, your husband, and your family.

    It's nice to know that you're finding comfort in your world-wide knitting community.

    That picture of the garden is incredibly lovely. We're just getting our first snow of the winter - there's at least 4 inches on the ground and another 3 or so expected. We'll be digging out in the morning - so I especially appreciated Helen CKS's video.

  15. Sending encouraging thoughts from Beijing this week (I snuck into blocked Blogspot using an internet back door, as I really needed to catch up on your posts).
    I agree with the other commenters that knitting is a very good way to release nervous energy while waiting, or to feel one has created something positive in the midst of dark moods.
    best regards
    Lisa normally in Toronto