Archive | March 2023

A visit to the dentist

No, don’t groan, this is a particularly clever, patient and gentle dentist and he had a hell of a job dealing with me and my teeth yesterday morning! Two of them had to come out and that took a very long time and a great deal of skill, because he had to prepare for some pretty violent bleeding. I take medication to stop my blood from clotting, because I had a heart attack some years ago and stents were inserted in my arteries, so everything had to be handled very slowly before he could begin.

But all that time and noticing how skilful and gentle he was being, made me think of another doctor I met under exceptional and equally difficult circumstances.

I had had a heart attack and he was the cardiologist who was going to undertake to put stents in my blocked arteries. He came to talk to me to tell me what was going to happen the night before the procedure, which was very reassuring, because although it sounded (and was) hideously complicated, he took it so gently and easily as to make it look entirely possible. When we’d talked about what was going to happen for some time, he asked me how I felt about it and I gave him an honest answer – what else could I do? I told him I was scared stiff and he smiled at me in an easy and loving way and said ‘You wouldn’t be human if you weren’t, we’re a good team and we’ll keep you informed all the way through.’ Which they did and I stopped feeling afraid and simply relaxed into what they were doing and took comfort from their kindness. You can’t sing praises louder than that for the work of a major surgeon.

And when I was sitting in the dentist’s chair, I remembered the cardiological team and how superb and gentle and tender they were and here I was with another medical man, equally superb and gentle and tender. I told him I thought there was something very special about people in the medical profession who performed miraculously difficult procedures and made light of them. And I told my Dr Raju how grateful I was to him.

A dear man, just as my cardiologist was. We are very, very lucky to have such people in our health service.

This entry was posted on March 31, 2023. 2 Comments

Mother’s day, two amazing presents and some serious thinking.

This has been a most loving Mothering Sunday, so loving I hardly know where to start with it!

The two presents that are pictured here came from my two daughters. The first was from my eldest and was typical of her. For years I have been using a purse so old it should have been in the museum long since! Packed with notes, coins, cards, messages and so much paraphernalia, it was literally falling to pieces and extremely difficult to open and shut. And the new, stylish red purse was a gift typical of my Mary, who is loving and practical and has been caring for me for a very long time now. Salut!

The second present came from my second daughter, who has an eye (as you can see) for colour and style and is another of my carers.

This dress fits like a dream and one day I hope I shall be able to wear it at an event. Something to cross my fingers for and look forward to. And like the purse in my elder daughters case, this present fits my second daughters style, she is another caring creature with a creative eye.

The serious thinking part of this blog came from a kindly thought from my new agent. He had promised to send me a copy of the cover of an old book that is being brought out for the second time. I had said to him fairly casually that I might not be around to see it in print and he tried to comfort me by saying he was sure I would be. I thanked him for his kindness, but inside the murkier aspects of my brain I was thinking and thinking hard.

When you reach a ridiculous age like 92 you tend not to look forward to very much and to avoid thinking too hard about the situation you are actually in. But you’re in it, nevertheless and you have to cope with it and accept it. I have four or five ‘conditions’, none of which are curable or treatable, all of which could finish me off, one of which will.

I shall use my purse and wear my dress and go on writing such novels that I can. For being 92 doesn’t seem to have much effect on my creative abilities. The trouble is, as I keep telling myself, thing’s ain’t what they seem.

On to book 32 and with luck, upwards! Greetings fellow writers and special love to all my lovely family, who keep me going and love me and feed me and look after me. I know the answers to the Beatles song. Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? When I’m 92.

This entry was posted on March 23, 2023. 7 Comments

Where’s the rest of the mouse?

That’s the question this morning. Dixie is being very loving at the moment and when I came downstairs for breakfast, I discovered that he left me a mouse’s head just inside the kitchen. Lottie and I have been searching for the rest of the corpse ever since, we haven’t found so much as a sniff. I have a horrible feeling it’s been eaten, but that still leaves the inedible tail and gallbladder to be found.

Oh it’s all go having a cat!

At the moment he’s sitting beside us, with his tail on the keyboard looking angelic.

He is looking extremely handsome and Lottie who is very good at translating the silence of beautiful cats, tells me what he is saying is “I didn’t mean to do it, it was that other cat”. It seemed to have missed his superior intelligence that he is the only cat we have!

Yours, still wearing my deerstalker! There’s still a tail and a gallbladder to be found!

This entry was posted on March 17, 2023. 2 Comments

There IS a new Chair for The Blake Society.

I have been watching out for the Blake Society on the Charity Commission website, ever since I heard that Tim Heath had resigned from the post of Chairman and at last the details have been changed officially and there is no doubt at all that his name isn’t mentioned ANYWHERE on the document. So he is very definitely no longer the Chair and has really and truly handed in his notice.

The new Chair of the Blake Society is Dr Sibylle Irmgard Erle, a learned lady and very knowledgeable about Blake. Hooray!!  

Now, if somebody in Felpham could make it their business to find out how and by whom TH was persuaded to step down and out. And, if the same pressure could be used to persuade him to step down and out from the Blake Cottage Trust, then someone or a group of someone’s from Felpham could start the process that ought to lead to the repair of the Cottage.  

I wish I could say that I will help in any way I can, but I have got to confess that I cannot take on the lone responsibility any longer. I am too old, and too frail. But if there is anything that I know or any address that I have in my notebook that you need, I will hand it over to you willingly and whenever you ask.

We have endured seven long years, watching our precious Cottage falling further and further into decay. Now perhaps the moment has come at last, when we can push TH from his self promotion as Chairman of the Blake Cottage Trust and elect another Chairman who could actually do the work.

Keep in touch and use me as a source of information whenever you need to. I have my fingers crossed now, because there really does seem to be hope.

This entry was posted on March 9, 2023. 2 Comments

Waiting around.

I seem to have spent a great many hours during the last few weeks, waiting around. And all, now that I sit down to actually do some thinking, to no purpose at all.

Probably the most important thing that I am waiting for is a report back from the young man who could be my next agent, he said he would get back to be by the end of the month, but he didn’t actually tell me which month he had in mind! And I feel it would be rude to nudge his memory, when our acquaintance is so new.

I ought to be getting on with book 32, but as I’m now none to sure whether book 32 will be any good at all, I am loathed to write any of it.


I also have to wait for three more dental appointments, one a week for the next three weeks.

Treble sigh, plus dread.

But I think like all of us, what we’re waiting for, yearning for, is the Spring. ‘Oh Spring the sweet Spring, the years pleasant King.’ But there is no blossom anywhere in my garden and it’s so cold here that I stomp about in a quadruple layer of clothing like a walking wardrobe, feeling as though the seasons have stopped.

I would also like to start up a conversation with several people. Like someone sympathetic from the FVCS with whom I could perhaps suggest that there might be a way in which the FVCS could actually get rid of Tim Heath so that Blake’s Cottage could be repaired at long, long last. Or Stephen Pritchard who might well know how it could be done, but doesn’t know me. Or thirdly some communication with Peter Johns who has been one of the original three trustees of the Blake Cottage Trust and therefore ought to know what is happening to it now, but seems loathed to answer any communication.

Oh Spring, sweet Spring, could you please step in and open the world and the window for me?!

This entry was posted on March 2, 2023. 2 Comments