Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We are back, after a very successful trip. We moved more slowly than before, kept a sharp lookout for lifts (=elevators), and were greatly assisted by Rachel and Thomas-the-Elder who drove us to convenient departure-points for central London, obviating various exhausting changes of transport. My forebodings were, in the event, not unnecessary but misdirected.

My husband’s sister Christina lives in south Edinburgh, in Morningside. When we left, she was suffering from a chest infection which was stubbornly declining to respond to antibiotics. I spoke to her at some length by telephone on Monday the 5th, clearly unwell but up and about, not at all happy – with considerable cause – about the doctoring she was receiving.

Her daughter Clare, who lives hard by, phoned us in London on the evening of the 7th, the day we went down, to say that Christina had collapsed and was in the Royal Infirmary on oxygen and various antibiotic drips.

There she remains, nearly a week later. Nothing much seems to have happened. Her oxygen saturations are a bit better. From Clare’s account, doctors sound puzzled. The cough is largely unproductive. A CAT scan has eliminated the possibility of a blot clot. Next will come a broncoscopy, which sounds uncomfortable. They have even considered allergy – “Do you have a parrot?” (She has never smoked.)

She is much younger than my husband, scarcely older than I am. We oldies count out the years as children do.

We will visit this afternoon.

As for knitting, I kept at it, and am steaming down the foot of Thomas-the-Elder’s second sock. In lieu of the Yarn Yard toning solid – which, you may remember, simply and utterly vanished just as I reached the first heel – I finished the toe with KF’s “Fire” left over from Ketki’s socks. Thomas likes the effect. Pic tomorrow, maybe.

I also improved the shining hour by darning some of Rachel’s old socks – knit by me, of course, over the years. I think maybe I will make it a practice to take darning equipment along when I visit a house in which socks of my manufacture are to be found. Helen is delighted with her new pair, which have reached Thessaloniki safely. I told her to bring her old ones along for darning when she comes here in August.

And my courgettes are fine! Twenty minutes before we left to catch our train last Wednesday, as I was watering them out on the step and giving them a little pep talk, an art historian neighbour walked by with her dog. I told her of my anxiety. She promised to have her husband and daughter water them. She herself was off the next day to, of all places, Thessaloniki.


  1. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Sorry about Christina - but g lad you had a good trip and got lots of sock done!

  2. here's wishing your sister in law speedy recovery! No fun.

  3. All the best to your sister-in-law, Jean.

    And I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I look forward to watching the development of your courgettes with great interest.



  4. Best wishes to your sister-in-law, and I'm so glad your trip was a bit more manageable than you might have expected.


  5. Anonymous5:10 PM

    Sending good thoughts to your sister-in-law, Christina.

    I'm glad you're safely home after a good trip!

  6. Anonymous9:40 PM

    May your sister-in-law heal rapidly whether or not they ever diagnose the problem.

    If they're asking about pets, maybe they should ask about any recent changes in the house - new furniture, new floor coverings, etc. Building materials are often toxic, or use chemicals people have never been exposed to before that might cause allergic reactions. Also consider older appliances; there have been instances of lung injury from exposure to leaking air conditioners/refrigerators.

    Still, I would like to suggest that you (and everyone) at least consider wearing a medical mask when you visit hospitals and such places, especially when you know you will be exposed to an apparently Medicine-Resistant infection.