Plastic surgery completed

A huge welcome home to R0X1 following “surgery” to her rear nearside (UK) corner and replacement grey waste pipe. At the same time she had a service and MOT and is once more fit to travel. Many thanks to Richard and Brian at my local garage in Langport.

The BFF has also just come out of hospital having had surgery so next week R0X will get a long overdue run out – down to Cornwall so I can help relieve R’s boredom – she really doesn’t do “take it slowly” at all well.

Tomorrow morning festive decorations will appear chez Crosby/Mepstead, looking forward to seeing all my baubles and my Santa collection again. One of the nicest things about this joined up multi generational household is the huge amount of baubles, ornaments, trees and lights we jointly own, all of which will be on display. Then late afternoon we’ll go into Langport for the market, fireworks and lights switch on, hopefully amongst the food concessions there’ll be a mulled wine stall …

Pix will follow early next week.


Four lunches and a hospital

I’m now ensconced in Granada just a 6km bus ride from the Alhambra; to visit which I have a ticket for tomorrow.

My second week with Rosemary and John was a continuation of gastronomic delights but there were some challenging moments. We ate “out” and we ate “in”.

Out last Sunday was at a hotel and restaurant that R&J wanted to try out. We ordered starters and a main course each. Our large size starters arrived one at a time so we shared as you do, all were gorgeous. The only trouble was by the time our main courses arrived we had all eaten so much already none of us could take much more than a token taste. This was the too much lunch.

Tuesday was out to lunch at the house of some friends of R&J’s. We drew up at the front door to be met by a plaintive cry for help from our host. Our hostess had got up to greet us and tripped over; I took one look at the angle of her foot and shouted for the men to leave her on the floor. My diagnosis proved correct unfortunately, when after a two and a half hour wait for an ambulance to take her to the hospital, the X-ray showed she had a fractured neck of femur. Poor lady, she was incredibly brave, she was in great pain but me sitting beside her, holding her hand and encouraging deep breathing whilst we waited seemed to help a little. This was the no lunch, lunch.

Thursday was “out” to an Indian restaurant. It was absolutely excellent, almost up to the Hawelli, Twyford’s annual award winning standards! This was the just right lunch.

It was the paella party “in” on Friday that took the “lunch of the week prize”.

Paella for eight at R&J’s – cooked by R&J – brilliant.

My third patient of the year now has a new hip, is beginning to mobilise and should be home in a couple more days. Have a speedy recovery Bet!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Matinee theatre

I went to the theatre yesterday afternoon and …

Three nice things happened;

My ankles measure as slim so that’s two parts of my body sorted!! I’m sure however, that my beautiful slim ankles did not look sexy in the pair of black compression knee-hi’s I was measured for!

My admitting nurse having suddenly disappeared came back to announce that she’d gone back to the computer to check my date of birth because, to her, I look and act well younger. Knew there was a good reason to love the Portuguese! No reason to love my son who sent me this card 10 days ago which I’d suggested as a good buy for his Uncle’s birthday and J forgot to send … J’s piss poor excuse was there was no point in wasting it and he deemed it just as appropriate for my birthday – well it might’ve been if it were pink.


My daughter came to collect and sign me out of the hospital – they wouldn’t discharge me without a “responsible” adult’s signature. As K walked in the ward the lady in the bed opposite exclaimed “That’s my son’s teacher!” – it’s a small world is about the truest cliché of them all. In view of the fact that K is indeed her son’s teacher, I refrained from doubting the validity of K’s claim to responsible adulthood in front of the child’s mother.

Three great things happened;

I finally got my treatment and all the slightly iffy cells are no more, they are removed, deceased, they are dead as parrots.

I woke up from the anaesthetic, I am none of the above.

The third time was a charm, I can leave for all points south on Saturday and don’t have to change the ferry booking for a fourth time.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Lost in translation …

I’ve not been able to get my head round the treatment prescribed for Rosemary’s cracked femur. I’ve never heard of someone having six weeks bed rest for this, why not just pin it? Today at Rafael Mendez Hospital all became clear.

The ambulance to take Rosemary to her appointment was late and there was only the driver, despite John’s earlier phone calls to say this was a two-person job. Rosemary is on bedrest lying flat, one person cannot manage to put her on a stretcher and carry her down the steps she so recently fell down. A second person was summoned and we waited for him to arrive, we were by now late for her X-ray appointment. Finally a second ambulance came and the driver helped to get Rosemary boarded. Arriving at X-ray she was taken straight in and photographed and we were down at the trauma clinic just in time for that appointment. A rather good looking, shall we say mature but gert lush, as is said in the West Country, doctor informed us that the large haematoma (huge swollen bruise) above her fibula was not masking a break and the 2 fractures of her pelvis were looking OK, no further movement of the left inferior or superior pelvic rami! All suddenly became became clear to Rosemary and I – bedrest being the standard treatment for a fractured pelvis – no wonder they hadn’t pinned her femur!! Something obviously went wrong in the original translation …

She must continue totally non-weight bearing but is now allowed to sit up for short periods. He will see her again in 2 weeks and hopefully one week after that she should be allowed to start mobilising slowly. I shall stay until her next appointment but shortly after will have to start wending my way home for R0X1’s first MOT appointment.

In the meantime the temps continue in the high thirties and I’m grateful for the pool …



🙂 🙂 🙂

Men in tights.

I was about to leave Campel on Friday, having had a few days of excellent walking and a visit to the only hospital in Europe specialising in treating leprosy. Sanatorio Fontilles was built in 1909 at the behest of two local men, one a lawyer the other a priest. Since opening it has cared for and later, when drugs were available, treated nearly 3,000 patients. The first drug treatment to stabilise the condition was introduced in 1946, and then in 1982 multi therapy was able to cure it. Unfortunately there are still a handful of patients every year in Spain as the symptoms are so slow and insidious it is rarely detected early. The hospital provides finance, training and support for staff from countries where leprosy remains endemic and the abiding ethos is to eradicate both the disease and the stigma. It remains an active research centre.

As I was waiting at reception to pay before leaving and moving on I heard Ivan, campsite manager, telling a Dutch couple about a fiesta at the Sanatorio Fontilles this weekend – I decided to stay and do the steep 4K walk again. Apparently the parade and marching bands are in commemoration of the battles between the Moors and Christians. The costumes are stunning and must cost a fortune. Obviously professionally made, each club has it’s own colours; the material used is very high quality, brocades, lace, and silk, richly embellished and embroidered. The shoes were incredible too, the armoured ones clanked authentically, some of the Moorish men wore laced sandals and some tights and slippers. Once again I was very lucky, this parade was in support of the hospital and done for the fun of it, unlike the big parades and re-enactments in the cities it was completely unadvertised, hence the lack of the usual huge crowds.

Now in case you’re wondering how a Spaniard gets a name like Ivan, and even if you weren’t … During Franco’s time as well as getting into trouble for wearing red, Ivan’s grandfather was accused of being a communist for wearing a red sweater, you could not give your child a Russian sounding name by order of the dictator. Ivan was born 2 years after Franco’s death by which time new parents were anxious to use the heady freedom of being allowed to call their children any name they liked. Ivan, good job he was a boy really, informs me that a lot of men of his age are called Ivan!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Under starters orders

Preparations are almost complete. Daisy needs one more check at the vets tomorrow, I need a small food shop, R0X1 needs fuel and we’re good to go.

The rear ends are as follows; mine; all better (and that’s even after cooking and eating sausages last night!). Daisy; antibiotics, steroids and added fibre. R0X1; gaffer tape.

R, who regular readers may have noticed did not join me as planned on the Wales leg of Eurotour 15/16 is languishing in the geriatric orthopaedic ward, her “bad back” turned out to be a dislocated replacement hip, awaiting surgery. It’s a shame I’m going to miss the opportunity to visit and take the piss but her emergency admission does mean she and S will be able to make Espagna. I’m really looking forward to it, so come on “Chester”, stop the hobbling, we’ve seen it all before (twice), and get mobile!!

Daisy and I had a long walk (R, see that word – walk? It’s what your legs are for!) round the lanes yesterday afternoon and I couldn’t resist photoing the signs of autumn – nor playing around with the images this morning …

Mellow fruits
Next one will be from where the sun shines …

🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. Good luck my bestest friend, loads of love, see you fit and well in February xxx

Campsite NHS

This week’s been a bit of a shock to the system, I didn’t realise how deeply into laid back dawdling I’d got over the Easter hols.

Sunday evening the Smart One came home and on Monday had an inset day so we got some heavy duty hugging/re-bonding done, it had, after all, been a whole fortnight! K had her first day at the school she will be permanently employed in from September. After K’s successful interview for a permanent post her new Head (after seeking permission from her husband, K’s previous Head) asked her to finish her training at her new school and with the children that will be her class then – K  was well chuffed at that. First day went well and the whole staff were very welcoming – I think her luck has changed at long last.

The rest of the week has been the dentist, the shopping, the school run, the Cubs run, the after school IT club run, the latter 3 of which Daisy adores as she gets to run as well and as the school is 1 ½ miles away it sorts out both our exercise regimes! We’re also doing very well at our own homework following Tuesday’s training session.

Saturday, the Smart One did his Cub duty handing out drinks at the unveiling of the new village sign. It’s really a rather nice sign, done by a local artist from suggestions made by local schoolchildren and it gave our local MP the chance to show her face to her soon to be voting constituents. To be fair the Right Hon. Home Secretary didn’t use the occasion to electioneer but, of course, it will all look terribly good in the local press. Me cynical? Never. (I stood right at the back of the not overly large crowd and successfully managed to catch not one glimpse of her.)

I’d just settled down for a lazy afternoon when I got one of the dreaded calls, promptly unhooked and R0X1, Daisy and I headed for Cambridgeshire. P had a bit of a turn, was admitted to hospital and I needed to chat to his doctors. The Acute Admissions Unit were lovely and gave me a hanger for the windscreen which allowed me to park free and despite it being Saturday night, this was rural Cambridgeshire and Daisy and I spent a quiet night in the hospital car park.

Today after a chat with his consultant we’ve come home with assurances that I will be informed if there are any changes. P has to be commended for his timing – at least he waited ’til I was back in the country! Get well soon P.

🙂 🙂 🙂