Wednesday, August 5, 2009

‘There’s nothing that can’t be corrected,’ Doctor Maria had said as she stood at the foot of my bed. Could anyone have said more welcoming words? I only hope she’s right and that eventually, after October, this breathlessness will be a thing of the past. At the moment it is so frustrating as I am virtually an invalid, not being able to move more than a dozen steps before anapnea. Now isn’t coincidence strange? Anapnea is the Greek word for breath and I learnt it so that I could tell everyone, anyone Greek that is, when asked how I was, ‘then boro na anapnea kala.’ I can’t breathe well. So here I am, my nose deep in yet another Karin Slaughter book, TRIPTYCH – well what else can I do but read or sit at this machine which is developing megrims all of its own, it has a habit of switching itself off whenever it feels like it so I have to save save save as quickly as possible before I am taken by surprise and lose everything, and now when I go to e-mail and put the cursor on SEND AND RECEIVE it goes to DELETED ITEMS instead. It will probably think up some other annoying habit soon – and I come across the word anapnea, a word I had never heard in English before, and no reason why I should as it is obviously used as a medical term.
To matters domestic. I have just for the first time in well over a month, walked around the garden. Somehow I wish I hadn’t, it depressed me so. It is a mess and all I can see is ten years of nurture going wild as plants desperately need cutting back, weeds and wild grasses take over and go to seed and unwanted plants that will soon be large and difficult to get rid of take root. This includes any number of walnut saplings beneath the trees and the brambles are enough to surround Sleeping Beauty’s castle! It couldn’t be helped. I was head gardener until I became incapacitated like from the beginning of this year; returning from England with the chest infection followed by this heart trouble. When we bought the house eleven and a half years ago I was 67. I didn’t think that in so many years time I would be well into my seventies and maybe gardening would no longer be feasible, much as I have enjoyed it. Hopefully when this is all over I might be able to enjoy it again. At the moment who knows? Douglas has too much on his plate at the moment, as does Chris to even think of gardening, apart from making sure plants are kept watered in this searing hot summer.
Well, the wild unwanted things might have flourished but damn me, the vegetable garden has been a big disappointment this year. We’ve had a few cucumbers, a handful of beans, a pound or two of tomatoes and a couple of courgettes but nothing like last year’s bumper crop. Many plants have simply refused to grow and the grapes have withered on the vine. It’s been a year! The avocado is doing well with about fifteen or more fruits and the nut peaches are still there. The fridge-freezer in the kitchen has packed up. Fortunately we have back-up but it’s a long schlep from the pantry to the kitchen, and now the washing machine has given up the ghost. Whatever next?
Next is something to look forward to at least – publication date has been set for my novel THE JOURNEYS WE MAKE – end of October, so it will join the three books already on Amazon. The more the merrier. It’s not a Thornton King. Number three of that series is ready for publication but not yet and I am still working on number four and my South African novel ANGEL is waiting patiently in line.
I wrote all the above a few days ago, since when the man came to repair the freezer only to tell us at a cost of 50euro that there is nothing wrong with it except, like me, it’s suffering from old age! The stitches came out Monday, sorry, staples rather, and yesterday there was a false alarm but more of that another time maybe. Douglas has been up every morning at six to work in the garden until too hot to be outside and has done some wonderful clearing. Hopefully I will be able to add my weight soon. I’m a third of the way through THE CINELLI VASES (Thornton King number 4) and quite like what I’ve written. Can’t get Holly into the picture yet but will find a way. Must find a way.

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