Sorry for the long silence! Nothing amiss just…travelling back to London and Switzerland has proved extremely exhausting. I know it sounds curmudgeonly to complain – and I’m not really moaning – but being homeless while our house is being renovated is unsettling to say the least. We are turning it into two flats, one of which we shall rent out, but it involves the whole house being re-organised as you can imagine.
So we bounced from pillar to post, while seeing friends and family but spent most of the time in Switzerland over the Christmas and New Year period with our beloved son and our dear Swiss-based cousins and friends.
We had great fun, despite a lack of snow in Champery, and spent a few days under the glorious Eiger, soaking in the brilliant sunshine, skiing on rock-hard ice and gorging ourselves on delicious mountain food. These photos give you an idea…
A few days back in London to oversee the building site, attend a few meetings and what not, get a new passport (brilliant one-day service worked like a dream) and then back to the hedonistic pleasures of fresh snow and friends. This year we entertained the Queens boys (included the Surgeon who was at Kings!) on their annual pub crawl on the slopes, plus the Doc and her husband.
We always manage to pop in to visit Louise at her Bench while in London too.
One of the other reasons for spending so long in London was to be ‘in conversation’ at Corpus Christi Cambridge with fellow-Girton author Sarah Helm, whose groundbreaking work on Ravensbruck, If This Is A Woman, had won the Longman History Today Prize the previous night. Our superb interlocutor, a prestigious author and journalist herself, was Anne Sebba. Over 80 turned up despite a terrible crash on the M11 which closed it all day. Quite some achievement we felt! I hope they thought so too!
I popped in to see the Prof while in London, all excited about the clear chest x-ray marking two years in remission. While thrilled at the amazing growth of my new hidden planta-flexor muscles (unique really as I had both soleus and gastrocnemius muscles removed) and the amount of movement I have in my leg and ankle, he did dash my hopes slightly saying I was celebrating prematurely.
Although my friend the Doc tells me that the cancer is so rare that statistics are rather meaningless, my other friend the Surgeon knew the Prof’s statistics off-pat. These are that secondaries will show in 60% of patients within two years, and in 80% of patients in three. So for his money, three years is the magic number when one can begin to let the guard down a bit.
Nevertheless, he opined, in my case, because I am superfit (well, for a cripple!) and not overweight, my chances are much better than most…take heed! He doesn’t adhere to the healthy eating mantra being old school – but admits that whatever I am doing is working. He blenches when I tell him about the magic properties of the lingzhi mushrooms…which I do to tease.
So what does this vital year hold in the Carpe Diem stakes?
Well, we will be leaving Singapore by September, with me coming back to London to oversee the house finishing touches end May.
In between, we shall be visiting Borneo for Chinese New Year, and the largest bat caves in the world, while trekking through the rainforest and sleeping in Iban Long Houses; touring Laos with cousins Christine and Diego for a fortnight in Feb; spending Easter weekend in Taiwan; and while husband and son go heli-skiing in Canada (this was one too much even for me) I shall be visiting Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu with a chum.
In August we are planning a valedictory sail on the Dewi Nusantara to Lombok, Flores and Komodo before going swimming with humpback wales in western Oz.
Life will never be the same again when we return to Europe!